CHICAGO -- The Hawks ran out of gas after overcoming an 18-point first quarter deficit and fell to the Bulls 131-116 in the Eastern Conference Play-In Tournament Wednesday night.

The loss ended the Hawks’ season.

Here are five observations:

1. With 6:51 to play in the game, Chicago’s Coby White dribbled on the wing, isolating Dejounte Murray before pulling up and hitting a 3. As the ball fell through the net, chants of “Coby” rang through the United Center as Hawks coach Quin Snyder walked onto the court signaling a timeout.

The Hawks had little answer for White, who hit his third 3 of the night. White entered Wednesday’s game averaging 19.1 points, shooting 44.7% from the floor and 37.6% from 3. He torched the Hawks, making over 70% of his shots.

He scored 42 points, had nine rebounds and six assists.

2. Though White took on the scoring load, the Hawks had little answer for the rest of the Bulls. No matter where they shot the ball the Bulls found the bottom of the net, making 57.1% of their short mid-range jumpers and 42.1% of their long mid-range jump shots.

As a team, they made 42.3% of their jumpers from 3, with a quarter of their attempts coming from the corner.

Four of the five Bulls starters finished with 19 or more points.

Nikola Vucevic got started early, scoring six of the Bulls’ first 13 points and eventually White, DeMar DeRozan and Ayo Donsunmu began to stretch the Hawks’ defense.

The Bulls attacked the rim which collapsed the Hawks defense, leaving guys open on the perimeter to knock shots down. When the Hawks adjusted to close out or moved to help, it left guys a free lane to drive to the basket.

“Number of things that challenged us but our offense hurt our defense at times (and) they were really good in transition when they made the runs,” Snyder said. “That’s a hard one to game plan against.”

3. The Hawks’ lack of frontcourt depth caught up to them in the second half and it forced the coaching staff to roll with the starters to open the fourth quarter. Just like the end of the first quarter, the Hawks again trailed the Bulls by 18 at the end of the third quarter.

They trailed 88-85, with 5:15 to play in the third quarter. But they left Vucevic open for a 3, then allowed DeRozan to hit a running dunk to force a timeout. Out of it, the Hawks did not settle and missed back-to-back field goals. They also spotted the Bulls a 17-2 run, which included some second-chance points.

The Hawks had to face the Bulls without Jalen Johnson, Onyeka Okongwu and Saddiq Bey, who had given them bodies to attack the offensive glass. The three have been out of the rotation, recovering from significant injuries, leaving them without some much-needed size.

4. With the Hawks down several players, they would need to lean on forward De’Andre Hunter to help slow down DeRozan. Though Hunter picked up two early fouls in the matchup, he remained aggressive in trying to slow the Bulls forward.

But the Hawks also needed Hunter on the offensive end and he couldn’t find the bottom of the net. He ended the Hawks regular-season matchup against the Pacers 0-of-6 from the field and he finished Wednesday 3-of-16.

5. The Hawks also looked to have a big night from their backcourt tandem, who had missed a major part of the season to build the team’s chemistry. But the team still needed the first quarter to acclimate to the playing styles of their two top guards.

While Murray hit his shots early, scoring 11 of his 30 points in the first, Trae Young had to get adjusted to the brace on his hand while contending with the Bulls’ aggressive defense.

Young scored 22 points and had 10 assists.

“Obviously, I wasn’t being as aggressive to start the game and I had a few turnovers and was just thinking about it too much,” Young said.

Stat to know

60 -- The Bulls shot over 60% from the floor in three of the four quarters. The only quarter they shot under 60% was the second, where they made 59.1% of their baskets.


“I felt we didn’t start well. So a lot of times when you’re playing catch up, it takes a lot of energy. And I felt like when we did cut the lead, at a certain point we just ran out of gas.” -- Quin Snyder.

Up next

The Hawks’ season comes to an end and they move into their offseason.