Hawks Even Series
The Atlanta Hawks even their best-of-seven playoff series with the Chicago Bulls 2-2. Josh Smith had a tremendous game, leading the home team Hawks to a 100-88 victory Sunday night. Here is more from the AP and espn.com.
Smith answered his critics with a huge game — 23 points, 16 rebounds and eight assists — and fill-in Jeff Teague came up with the Derrick Rose-like plays down the stretch to lead the Hawks past the Chicago Bulls 100-88 Sunday night, evening the Eastern Conference semifinals at two games apiece.
The Hawks snapped a nine-game home losing streak in the second round, their misery dating to a May 13, 1996, win against Orlando.
Josh Smith’s play in the first 3 games of the series was terrible. He settled for too many jump shots, many of which he missed. Sunday night, that all changed. Smith used his size and driving ability to get in the paint consistently. When he was there, he either scored or found the open man.
Derrick Rose had an impressive stat line. The league MVP scored 34 points, dished out 10 assists, and pulled down 4 boards. However, he used 32 shots to score 34 points. He continues to struggle this postseason with his outside shooting. His best performance of the playoffs came two nights earlier in game 3, when he scored 44 points after briefly finding his shooting touch from the perimeter.