ATLANTA (AP) — Josh Smith scored 25 points, Joe Johnson and Vladimir Radmanovic each added 17 and the Atlanta Hawks beat Chicago 109-94 Saturday night to snap the Bulls’ six-game winning streak.
John Lucas III had 14 of his team-high 16 points in the fourth quarter for Chicago, which never led. The Bulls, who dropped to 7-2, had been off to their best start since going 12-0 in 1996-97.
Derrick Rose, last season’s league MVP, scored eight points for Chicago — his lowest total since the Bulls took a 17-point victory at Toronto on Dec. 15, 2010. He did not return to the game after leaving with 2:29 left in the third quarter.
Both teams used mostly reserves in the fourth before Atlanta coach Larry Drew had starters Smith, Johnson and Al Horford enter the game for a few minutes late in the final period.
Kyle Korver finished with 13 points for the Bulls, and Carlos Boozer and Jimmy Butler each had 12. Omer Asik pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds.
The outcome was in stark contrast to last Tuesday at Chicago, where the Hawks blew a 19-point lead in the third quarter and allowed the Bulls to outscore them 34-18 in the final period for a 76-74 loss.
This time, there was no such ugly streak for Atlanta.
The Hawks, who improved to 6-3, have won two straight. They were up 17 late in the first quarter before the Bulls came within two with 4:09 to go in the second on Carlos Boozer’s layup.
But Atlanta went on an 18-2 run, ending on Johnson’s 12-foot runner in the final seconds of the half, to lead by 18 at intermission.
Jeff Teague’s dunk with 5:52 left in the third quarter gave the Hawks their biggest lead at 29.
Hawks forward Marvin Williams left the game midway through the first with a sore left ankle and did not return.
Notes: Horford finished with 14 points. … Atlanta G Tracy McGrady went scoreless in 8 minutes after sitting out Friday’s win at Charlotte with a bruised left knee. … Chicago G Richard Hamilton was in uniform but missed his second straight game with a sore groin. … Bulls G C.J. Watson is traveling with the team, but was sidelined for the fourth straight game with a dislocated left elbow. He’s no longer wearing a sling. … Smith missed his first six 3-point attempts this season before hitting one to make it 48-43 in the second.
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