Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 1/21

Game 1: Friday, January 21st
Game 2: Monday, January 24th
Game 3: Monday, March 21st
Game 4: Saturday, April 16th

Hawks 91

(11-55, 3-31 away)

Bulls 105

(34-31, 20-13 home)

Coverage: SSN

7:30 PM ET, March 21, 2005

United Center, Chicago, IL

1 2 3 4 T
ATL 21 23 28 1991
CHI 27 28 28 22105

Top Performers

Atl: J. Childress 17 Pts, 7 Reb, 3 Ast

Chi: E. Curry 24 Pts, 6 Reb, 1 Ast

Curry, playing after three-game absence, scores 24

CHICAGO (AP) -- Eddy Curry didn't allow a sore hamstring to slow him down.

Curry scored 24 points in his return to Chicago's lineup and Ben Gordon added 17 in the Bulls' 105-91 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night.

Curry, the 6-foot-11 center who missed the Bulls' previous three games with a strained left hamstring, was 8-of-13 from the field and 8-of-9 from the line.

"It felt good just to be back," said Curry. "I decided to take a little time off and get my leg right so when I came out there it wasn't [any] kind of a handicap.

"It's pretty sore right now, I know I have still a little ways to go before I get to where I want to be, but for the most part I felt pretty good," Curry said.

Kirk Hinrich added 12 points and 10 assists for Chicago, and Othella Harrington had 10 points.

The Bulls, who are in their first playoff race since 1998, also got Luol Deng back from the injured list. He missed 10 games with a sprained right ankle.

"It was big to just to have those guys back," said Hinrich. "We need those two guys if we are going to make the playoffs."

Chicago is in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, a half-game behind Cleveland and a game in front of Indiana.

"It's a lot of pressure but at the same time it's fun." Curry said. "We have a chance to do something special for Chicago and we are not taking that for granted."

Josh Smith led the Hawks with 16 points, Al Harrington had 15, and Tyronn Lue added 14 points and eight assists. The Hawks, an NBA-worst 11-55, have lost five straight and 18 of their last 19 games.

Chicago led for most of the game, but Atlanta stayed within single digits until Curry and the Bulls pulled away in the fourth quarter.

Leading 86-79 with 9:05 left in the game, the Bulls went on an 8-0 run. Curry scored six points in the stretch, including a layup that made it 94-79 with 5:27 left.

"We couldn't get the lid off the basket for a minute until later in the fourth quarter and it hurt us," said Smith.

The Bulls led 55-44 at the half, with Curry scoring 12 points and Hinrich adding 10.

Game notes

Deng had nine points in 22 minutes. ... Tyson Chandler had 13 rebounds for Chicago. ... Bulls forward Andres Nocioni left the game in the second quarter with a right wrist sprain. He returned in the fourth quarter and finished with six points and seven rebounds. He will have an MRI on Tuesday. ... Curry was two points shy of his season high. ... The Bulls had a season-low 10 turnovers, and Gordon had five of them.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 91 105
FGM-FGA 34-78 (.436) 38-80 (.475)
3PM-3PA 2-5 (.400) 4-16 (.250)
FTM-FTA 21-29 (.724) 25-29 (.862)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-38 11-39
Assists 22 24
Turnovers 12 10
Steals 5 6
Blocks 6 5
Fast Break Points 12 6
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 27 (1/0) 25 (0/0)
Largest Lead 2 18

Top Performers

Josh Childress Childress
Points: 17
Reb: 7
Ast: 3
Stl: 0
Blk: 0
Eddy Curry Curry
Points: 24
Reb: 6
Ast: 1
Stl: 0
Blk: 0