Hinrich seals Bulls’ victory over Hawks at free-throw line
ATLANTA – Kirk Hinrich made all the right moves for the Chicago Bulls in the final minute of the game.
Not so much for Jeff Teague and the Atlanta Hawks.
Hinrich buried six big free throws down the stretch, and Teague had a couple of costly turnovers, as the Bulls held on for a 107-103 victory at Atlanta on Tuesday night.
Mike Dunleavy scored 22 points for the Bulls, who have won six of seven. Joakim Noah had 20 points and 12 rebounds, and Carlos Boozer finished with 17 points and 11 boards.
Dunleavy also had eight rebounds and four assists. He was covered in ice bags as he sat slumped at his locker after playing all but 9 seconds in the game.
“I appreciate [coach Tom Thibodeau] giving me that 9-second breather at the end of the half,” Dunleavy said with a laugh. “That made a big difference.”
The Bulls won after trailing by 14 points in the first quarter.
“They put us in a hole; we fought out of it,” Dunleavy said. “We just had to battle the whole game.”
Since Jan. 1, Chicago is 12-1 when holding its opponent under 90 points. No other team in the league has kept as many opponents under 90 in that span.
Teague had 26 points for the short-handed Hawks, who have lost nine of 10. Shelvin Mack scored 17.
The Bulls led most of the second half, but never pushed the advantage to double figures.
“I think they really wanted that game today,” Noah said of the Hawks. “We really wanted that game, too. It wasn’t pretty at times. I’m just happy we were able to come out with the win.”
DeMarre Carroll’s fast-break basket gave Atlanta a 100-99 lead, but Dunleavy answered with a layup. With 1:03 remaining, Carroll sank a 3-pointer to give Atlanta a 103-101 lead.
With 43.2 seconds remaining, officials reviewed and confirmed a questionable foul called on Carroll on Hinrich’s 3-point attempt. Hinrich made the three free throws to put Chicago in front again.
Noah’s steal from Teague got the ball back for the Bulls with 20 seconds remaining. Atlanta’s Kyle Korver stole the inbounds pass, giving the Hawks a chance to take the lead, but Teague stepped out of bounds behind the basket. Hinrich then made two free throws.
Noah stripped Mike Scott of the ball on Atlanta’s next possession, setting up another foul shot by Hinrich. Coach Mike Budenholzer and the Hawks argued that Noah fouled Scott.
“Do I think he was fouled?” Budenholzer asked after the game. “I just looked at it, and yes I do.”