ATLANTA (AP) -- With his team trailing by 15 points at halftime,
Chicago Bulls coach Scott Skiles figured it was time to fire away
in the locker room.
"You only have so many bullets in the season; tonight I spent
one," Skiles said.
Motivated by Skiles, Chris Duhon and the Bulls quickly caught
the hapless Atlanta Hawks and ran away with a 114-105 victory
Duhon made eight 3-pointers for a career-high 24 points,
including 15 in the third period.
With his team trying to protect a one-game lead for fourth place
-- and home court advantage -- in the Eastern Conference playoffs,
Skiles was disappointed with his team's defense as the Hawks led
63-48 at halftime.
"I got into them pretty good," Skiles said. "The thing you
look for in that instance is are they going to respond."
The Hawks scored the first two baskets of the second half to
push their lead to 19. Then came the response Skiles wanted.
With Duhon making five of six 3-point shots, the Bulls outscored
the Hawks 36-19 in the period.
"It was just one of those nights when I was in a good rhythm,"
Duhon said. "After the first three or four went in, I felt I could
make any of them."
With the victory, Chicago swept the four-game season series with
Atlanta and strengthened its hold on home court advantage in the
playoffs with its 14th win in 17 games.
Duhon said veteran Antonio Davis warned the players at the start
of halftime that Skiles "had the right to come in here and yell at
"Coach Skiles just came in here and was being real with us,"
Said Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich: "Coach was a little upset at
halftime, and rightfully so."
One night after matching his career high with 17 points in a
117-77 victory over Orlando, Duhon easily topped that total.
Averaging only 5.7 points, Duhon -- the NBA's rookie leader in
assists -- surprised players on both teams by making eight of nine
"Eight of nine from 3, I don't remember anybody doing that,"
Hinrich said. "It was impressive. He was stepping into them and
feeling it and we were trying to find him."
Hinrich had nine assists with 17 points.
With Duhon in the starting lineup, the Bulls are 46-25.
The highlight for the Hawks and their sellout crowd of 19,445 on
Fan Appreciation Night were the final seconds of the first half.
The Hawks hit two 3-pointers in the final 8 seconds of the half to
After a 3-pointer by Tyronn Lue, Atlanta's 42-year-old Kevin
Willis dove to the floor for a steal and, while on his back, passed
the ball to Tony Delk. Standing near the corner edge of the
midcourt line, Delk threw up a moonbeam shot at the buzzer that
fell, giving the Hawks a 15-point lead.
"I always take shots like that," Delk said. "Most guys don't,
because they don't want to mess up their percentage. It felt good.
... You throw it up and hope it's good."
Delk led the Hawks with 18 points. Josh Childress had 17 points
and 10 rebounds, and Lue added 16 points.
The Hawks need to win one of their last three games to avoid
becoming only the fourth 70-loss team in the 82-game era. Atlanta
already is assured of finishing with the worst record in the
The Bulls, headed to their first playoff appearance since 1998,
have kept winning despite losing Eddy Curry to an irregular
heartbeat and Luol Deng to wrist surgery.
Willis, activated from the injured list Saturday, started
and had eight points. ... Skiles said no decision has been made on
adding a player to replace Curry. ... The eight 3-pointers were an
individual season high for Chicago, topping Ben Gordon's six at
Charlotte on March 30.