The Hawks looked to win their final home game before heading into the All-Star break, but the Bulls had other plans and handed the home team a 136-126 defeat at State Farm Arena Monday.

Here are five observations.

1. The Hawks knew coming into the night they would need to attack the glass against the Bulls and they eventually won the battle of the boards, outrebounding the visitors 49-43. And maybe that happened because Chicago, which entered the game as the ninth-worst offense in the league, sliced up the Hawks by shooting 55.4 percent from the field (not giving the Hawks many missed shots to rebounds) and recording a season high in points.

The Bulls got to their spots, showing plenty of patience on their possessions that got the Hawks chasing and freeing up shooters in the corner. If they didn’t look to burn the Hawks from outside, they blew right past defenders to get to the rim.

The Bulls went 34-of-53 inside the paint, with third-year guard Ayo Donsumu torching the Hawks at the rim. Dosunmu scored a career-high 29 points, going 12-of-18 from the floor after catching the Hawks flat footed.

“We’ve just got to be better,” coach Quin Snyder said. “Some of it was pick and roll where we were getting rejected, whether it be close outs even when you come and rotate and help. I think once you’re in a close out situation and it’s a long close out, and they do a good job of driving the ball through those situations. So then you’re you’re on your heels obviously. Certainly Dosunmu got to the rim and got to the paint.”

2. Though the Hawks had trouble slowing the Bulls down on the perimeter, they attacked the glass despite the absence of Clint Capela. The veteran center missed his fifth straight game with a left adductor strain but the team employed a gang-rebounding mentality.

They outrebounded the Bulls 49-43, outscoring the Bulls 16-7 on second-chance points.

The Hawks, though, needed every bit of team-rebounding mentality moving forward. With just over four minutes to play, center Onyeka Okongwu exited the game. During his postgame media availability, Snyder shared that Okongwu had to leave the game because he injured his toe.

“We’ll wait to see the severity of that,” Snyder said. “They’re looking at him right now. But that’s what happened.”

3. Early in the game, the Hawks did not get a lot of scoring from their starters. None of the first five reached double figures in the opening half (shooting only 37 percent from the floor in the first 24 minutes) and only accounted for 31 of the team’s 59 first-half points.

Trae Young and Dejounte Murray combined for only 10-of-31 overall shooting, but they remained quite active by setting up good looks for teammates De’Andre Hunter and Bogdan Bogdanovic, who helped the Hawks lead by as many as 13 in the first half.

Things didn’t get much better in the second half from a scoring standpoint (Young finished the game with 19 points and Murray 17), but they were still active in getting others involved until the end (Young finishing with 14 assists and Murray with nine).

4. Bogdanovic and Hunter gave the team big moments off the bench throughout the game. Down 99-92 minutes into the fourth, Hunter forced Jevon Carter to lose his dribble on the wing before picking up the loose ball and getting out in transition before hitting a jumper.

Hunter, who had 23 points, then stuck with DeMar DeRozan on an attempted blow by and recovered to block a shot. It led to a transition dunk from Jalen Johnson and cut the deficit to 99-96 with 10:50 left.

Bogdanovic hit a huge shot after fighting over a screen and forcing Bulls’ Coby White into a bad pass that Murray scooped up. Murray then found Bogdanovic, who led the Hawks with 28 points, on the wing for 3 that brought the Hawks within 112-111.

5. Though 28 games remain in the regular season, Monday’s matchup still held some big implications for the standings. The Bulls won the first meeting between the teams on Dec. 26 and therefore own the tiebreak.

The Bulls ranked ninth in the Eastern Conference entering the night with a 25-28 record, while the Hawks sat in 10th at 24-29.

Stat to know

The Bulls set a new season high in points with 136.


“We’ve been playing together for a while. So, we know each other’s games.” -- Bogdanovic on playing with Hunter off the bench.

Up Next

The Hawks head to Charlotte for their final game before the All-Star break.