ATLANTA (AP) — Robin Lopez scored 20 points, Lauri Markkanen added 19 and the Chicago Bulls easily beat the Atlanta Hawks, 113-97, on Saturday night.
The Bulls, coming off a 7-point home loss to defending NBA champion Golden State three days ago, have won four of five. They never trailed, taking an 11-pont lead midway through the first quarter on Lopez’s dunk and going up 17 on Markkanen’s dunk in the closing seconds of the first half.
The closest Atlanta got in the third was 10 points on John Collins’ dunk. The lead swelled to 25 midway through the fourth on Portis’ 3.
Dennis Schroder scored 18 points and Dewayne Dedmon had 11 for Atlanta, which showed why it’s spent the season at or near the bottom of the NBA standings.
The Hawks began the game ranked seventh in 3-point shooting, but they had little chance of competing after missing 34 of their first 38 shots beyond the arc. Atlanta, coming off a dramatic late victory over New Orleans, was attempting to win three straight for the first time this season.
With the Hawks poorly defending inside, Markkanen took his game to the rim. The 7-foot, 227-pound Finn, a prolific 3-point shooter, had four dunks. He went 0 for 4 beyond the arc, marking the first time in 17 games that he didn’t hit a 3.
Chicago did as it pleased in the first half, dishing out 18 assists on 21 field goals to begin the third quarter with a 55-38 lead. They scored the first 14 points in the paint on five dunks, and Atlanta had no one capable inside to defend Lopez, who had 16 before intermission on 8 for 9 shooting.
Portis finished with 14 points and Justin Holiday had 13 for the Bulls.
Bulls: Coach Fred Hoiberg said G Kris Dunn, in the NBA’s concussion protocol, will not join the team Monday in New Orleans. Dunn is still suffering headaches, dizziness and soreness from losing two front teeth after his face hit the floor. … Chicago is 7-16 on the road but has won four of its last six away from the United Center. … The Bulls have hit at least 10 3s in 10 straight games.
Bulls: Visit New Orleans on Monday.
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