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Bulls

Bulls race to big lead in opening minutes, rout Hawks

Chicago Bulls guard Coby White looks for an opening in the first half against the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday in Atlanta.
Chicago Bulls guard Coby White looks for an opening in the first half against the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday in Atlanta.

ATLANTA – For the second night in a row, the Bulls took a big lead into the fourth quarter.

This time, they didn’t let up.

Tomas Satoransky scored a career-high 27 points and the Bulls won for only the third time in nine games with easily their most impressive performance of the young season, routing the Atlanta Hawks, 113-93, on Wednesday.

“We were all frustrated by the way the last game went,” said Satoransky, who went 10 of 13 from the field, including 4 of 5 from 3-point range.

The Bulls built a big lead against LeBron James and the Lakers the night before, only to get outscored, 38-19, in the fourth quarter of a 118-112 loss.

Taking out their frustration on the Hawks, this one was total domination.

Satoransky had not scored more than nine points this season. He really went off on the Hawks, beating his previous career best of 25 while also dishing out eight assists.

Zach LaVine even got a chance to put on his version of Showtime, blocking De’Andre Hunter’s 3-pointer to set up a 360-degree dunk at the other end.

“We put it together tonight,” Coby White said. “Both halves.”

Atlanta made a season-low six of 30 attempts from 3-point range, turned the ball over 24 times and trailed by double digits over the final 41:29.

“Our guys were not ready,” Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce said bluntly. “We just didn’t care.”

The Bulls took control with a 28-6 run in the opening quarter. Otto Porter Jr. led with way with 10 points, including a couple of 3-pointers. Satoransky chipped in with seven points, Kris Dunn added five and Lauri Markkanen knocked down a 3 to push the Bulls to a 30-12 lead.

Porter went down before halftime with a bruised left foot and did not return.

He wasn’t needed.

The Bulls were up, 56-41, at the break, closing the half with a couple of quick passes around the perimeter to set up Satoransky’s 3 from the corner as the buzzer sounded. It was the lowest-scoring first half of the season for the Hawks.

The Bulls stretched the margin as high as 28 points.

“We played 40 really good minutes last night, and that’s not enough,” Bulls coach Jim Boylen said. “They were hurting from the way the game ended last night.”

Starting his second straight game in place of John Collins, Jabari Parker led the Hawks with 18 points. Collins is serving a 25-game suspension after violating the NBA’s doping policy.

But Pierce wasn’t in the mood to praise anyone.

“The only positive from this game: It’s over,” the Atlanta coach said. “We don’t have to worry about it anymore.”

YOUNG STRUGGLES

It was a miserable night for Atlanta’s Trae Young, on the heels of a dazzling 29-point, 13-assist performance in a victory over San Antonio the previous night.

The point guard managed only nine points and three assists, missing all eight attempts beyond the arc.

“Coming off a big win, you’ve got to be mentally focused. You’ve got to approach every game like it’s your last,” Young said. “We didn’t do that.”

Pierce said the Bulls were determined to stop Young after he scored 49 points against them in a game last season.

“They’re not going to forget that,” Pierce said. “That’s the way they’re going to play Trae every game the rest of his career.”

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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