ATLANTA — Ayo Dosunmu scored a career-high 29 points and added seven assists to help the Chicago Bulls match their season-high and beat the Atlanta Hawks 136-126 on Monday.
DeMar DeRozan also scored 29 points, and Nikola Vučević had 24 points and 11 rebounds. Coby White added 20 points and 7 assists.
Bogdan Bogdanovic and De’Andre Hunter led the Hawks off the bench. Bogdanovic scored 28 points and Hunter scored 23 points. Trae Young scored 19 points but was 2 of 10 from 3-point range.
“We didn’t want to turn it into a shootout, but we wanted to play fast,” Dosunmu said. “Even when we score a goal, they take it out quickly. We wanted to hit with them. We wanted to do our best and protect the defence, but as the game progressed both teams were scoring goals and then we had some big meaningful stops.”
This win moved Chicago into 9th place in the East, two games ahead of the Hawks. The Bulls won both games against Atlanta this season.
Dosunmu went 5/7 from the field, going 12/18 and 3/3 from the field. He consistently disrupted the Atlanta defense with his drives to the basket, creating opportunities for himself and his teammates.
“We didn’t start the game great but Ayo’s speed and pace in the second quarter really got us back into the game. “It was going downhill,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. “He did a lot of good things tonight, whether it was making a few 3-pointers or getting to the basket.”
The Hawks had won six of their last eight games, but they allowed the Bulls to slow their momentum as the All-Star break approached, shooting 55.4% from the field and 46.4% from three. The Bulls were averaging 111.5 points per game entering the contest.
“We had a lot of late changes,” Hawks coach Quin Snyder said. “We all need to protect the ball better”
The Bulls trailed for most of the first half but closed the second quarter with a 12-2 run to take a 60-59 lead. Dosunmu scored eight points during the run, while Chicago scored on five consecutive possessions.
The Hawks were missing starting center Clint Capela and will not return from the All-Star break with a left adductor strain.
Torrey Craig started the game in place of Alex Caruso, who injured his foot in the Bulls’ previous game in Orlando.
Bulls: Wrap up a four-game road trip at Cleveland on Wednesday night.
Hawks: Visit Charlotte on Wednesday night.