CHICAGO (AP) -- Bulls coach Scott Skiles thought that Chicago's
fans should be disappointed despite a 10-point victory.
"For the fact that so many of our fans braved the elements to
come out I thought it was below a mediocre performance," Skiles
said, "and frankly I'm embarrassed by it and I will do everything
I can not to make it happen again."
Despite a storm warning, 18,815 fans attended the Bulls 16th win
in 22 games.
The Bulls bounced back from a loss to Boston on Wednesday that
ended their seven-game winning streak, but Skiles still found flaws
with his team's effort.
"When I look at the stat sheet if they [Atlanta] make any shots
at all they beat us like a drum. They had 23 offensive rebounds,
they killed on the glass. We have our bigs standing on the ground
with concrete shoes most of the night not jumping getting
rebounds," Skiles said. "It was a game any team could've won. We
were just fortunate to have that little spurt."
Leading 74-71, Chicago went on a 21-7 run at the start of the
fourth quarter. Hinrich scored eight points in the span and hit
Eddy Curry for an alley-oop dunk, giving the Bulls a 95-78 lead
with 4:25 left in the game. Chicago led the entire game.
Curry scored 18 points for Chicago, which has won six straight
at home. Curry thought Skiles had a right to criticize the team's
play, especially before Saturday night's game against the Detroit
"I think so. We definitely didn't play like we normally play.
It's a let down for us because we needed some momentum going into
tomorrow night," Curry said.
Trailing 70-59 late in the third quarter, the Hawks closed the
period by outscoring the Bulls 12-4. Kenny Anderson scored with 1.9
seconds left in the third to cut Chicago's lead to 74-71. Replays
showed Josh Smith interfered with the ball while it was still on
the rim, but the officials counted the basket.
"We just never could get into a rhythm," Walker said. "We
turned the ball over in critical situations when we had a chance to
take over the game."
The Bulls led 55-43 at halftime. Hinrich, Curry and Tyson
Chandler all had 11 points in the first half for Chicago.
Harrington scored 13 points for Atlanta and Walker added 12 in the
half. Chandler ended the game with 13 points.
Chandler was 9-of-9 from the free throw line in the first
half and the Hawks were just 12-of-20 in the half. As a team,
Chicago was 14-of-15 from the line in the half. ... The Bulls have
their longest home winning streak since the 1997-98 season when
they won 10 straight from Feb. 28 to April 11. ... Atlanta is 2-15
on the road this season.