Sports, Chicago Bulls

Chicago Bulls heating up heading into All-Star Break

The Bulls defeated the Atlanta Hawks as the franchise appears stuck in neutral 25 years following their last title run.

Scoring the winning points at a basketball game. (Photo: Shutterstock)

It's been a quarter of a century since the Chicago Bulls hoisted their last championship banner at the United Center, and this season looks to be another lackluster show of futility as the Bulls are currently two games below .500, fighting for a play-in spot in the East.

If the season were to end today, they'd be paired with the Miami Heat - the same scenario as took place last year when the Heat not only beat the Bulls to win the play-ins, but blasted their way all the way to the championship.

Last night, the Bulls were on the road for a game against the 10th-place Atlanta Hawks, a team that's underperformed no less than the Bulls two seasons following a surprise playoff run that saw them beat #1-ranked Philly in the second round to make it all the way to the Conference Finals.

Atlanta sharp-shooting guard Trae Young entered the game just three 3- pointers from setting the franchise record for all-time threes, just behind legendary 90s All Star, Mookie Blaylock. The Bulls were riding a hot streak of their own, despite dropping their last matchup to the Orlando Magic.

The game got off to a fairly slow start with the teams trading leads and 3rd year guard Ayo Dosunmu getting hot early on. He would lead the team in scoring, putting up a season high 29 points.

The Hawks got off to an 18-11 lead, as the Bulls missed a couple of mid-rangers and threes. They were up 33-26 after the 1st quarter. The Bulls went on a run of their own, with Dosunmu putting up 13 points in the second quarter, en-route to a slim 60-59 halftime lead.

The teams traded baskets to start the third, but the Bulls were eventually able to pull away, as DeRozan (also 29), Vucevic (24), and Most Improved Player candidate Coby White (20 points) got hot in the second half. The Bulls finished the game shooting 54% from the field and 47% from 3-point range, mainly thanks to Dosunmu's stellar play.

Chicago ended up squeezing it out after Atlanta went on a 12-6 run with minutes to play, with a final score of 136-126 for the Bulls, who will face the upstart Cavaliers on Thursday before getting some much-needed time off for the All-Star break.

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