CHICAGO — The Hawks could not bounce back from Saturday’s loss to the Hornets and fell to the Bulls 111-100 on Monday night.

Here are five observations:

1. The Hawks (24-24) had a chance to retake control of Monday’s game, but they stumbled down the stretch. Atlanta allowed the Bulls to open the fourth quarter on a 6-0 run before Jalen Johnson split a pair of free throws and Clint Capela dunked.

Even though the Hawks made several pushes, pulling within 91-88 with 6:37 left, the Bulls buried them. Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan hit timely 3-pointers each time the Hawks tried to claw their way back.

Chicago’s Patrick Williams put the icing on the double-digit lead with another 3-pointer.

2. After the Bulls exploded offensively in the second quarter, the Hawks tried to climb back. Trae Young scored 12 of his team-high 21 points in the third quarter and tied the game at 78 on a driving floater. He scored four of the Hawks’ last five buckets in the final four minutes of the third quarter.

The Hawks held the Bulls to 9-of-24 shooting in the period.

3. The Hawks needed a good start Monday night, but 13 turnovers in the first half stunted their rhythm. The Hawks’ turnovers allowed the Bulls to score 12 fast-break points.

“We talked about that,” Hawks coach Nate McMillan said. “(Sixteen) turnovers in our last game, (18) tonight for 25 points, and we got to do a better job of putting a value on that basketball, every possession, you got to have a value to it. And we don’t have a value to that ball right now. Playing in traffic, shooting in traffic, dribbling in traffic. Whenever there’s two on the ball, you have to get off the ball. And (18) turnovers is just, I mean, we know we’re better than that.”

But the Bulls also attacked the boards on the offensive end to score 12 second-chance points.

The Bulls clicked on all cylinders in the second quarter, knocking down 68% of their attempts from the floor. They not only erased the Hawks’ four-point lead after one quarter but also took a 57-48 lead at halftime.

4. The Hawks had a tough task Monday with the absence of two of their key rotational players: De’Andre Hunter and Onyeka Okongwu.

The Hawks ruled out Okongwu shortly before the game with left hamstring tightness. Okongwu had been a key piece on the glass during Capela’s absence and was expected to bolster the second unit’s rebounding when Capela returned.

Hunter was expected to play Monday, but the team ruled him out shortly before the game with acute asthma symptoms. McMillan said Hunter felt unwell ahead of the game and that Chicago’s doctors checked him out before the game. They ruled him out as a precautionary measure.

“They got two really good players over there,” Young said. “And, we’re missing probably our best defender right before the game. That’s tough, and ‘Dre usually does a pretty good job on DeMar, and DeMar shoots efficiently. And that’s tough. They got two really good weapons over there. And it’s hard to guard a lot of guys in this league one-on-one.

“So, you’re gonna have to use multiple guys and you’re missing ... probably your best defender. It’s hard to, I mean, you’re going to have to send doubles, you’re going to do different types of schemes ... So, it’s tough not having ‘Dre, that’s obviously not an excuse why we lost. But I think that definitely is tough whenever you have two high horses over there.”

5. The Hawks have been aggressive attacking the basket, but they struggled to capitalize on their trips to the free-throw line Monday. The Hawks typically make 82.4% of their shots from the free-throw line, fourth in the league. On Monday, they shot 63.2%.

Stat to know

149 – Young now has 149 point/assist double-doubles in his career, tying Kevin Johnson for the fourth most in NBA history by a player under age 25.


“We don’t need a reminder; we know that we have to come out and play. Every game is really important. And, we had a good rhythm going, and you have to find that rhythm in the next game. So, we dropped our last two. So, we got to find that rhythm again in Oklahoma City.” – McMillan on how these losses reminded the Hawks of what worked in the five-game win streak

Up next

The Hawks head to Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder at 8 p.m. Wednesday.