Ayo Dosunmu scored a career-high 29 points and hit a crucial 3-pointer to complete a fourth-quarter run that allowed the visiting Chicago Bulls to take a 136-126 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Monday.
Dosunmu made the trey with 4:13 left to complete an 8-0 burst and open a nine-point lead, upping the advantage to 120-111. Atlanta never got closer than six again. Dosunmu was 12-for-18 from the field and 5-for-7 on 3-pointers with seven assists.
Chicago’s DeMar DeRozan also scored 29 points, Nikola Vucevic had 24 points and 11 rebounds, and Coby White added 20 points.
The ninth-place Bulls have won both games against the Hawks this season, giving them the head-to-head playoff tiebreaker, and opened a two-game lead over 10th-place Atlanta in the Eastern Conference.
Atlanta was led by Bogdan Bogdanovic with 28 points, including six 3-pointers, and De’Andre Hunter with 23 points. Trae Young had 19 points and 14 assists, but shot 3-for-14 from the field, 2-for-10 on treys, and was assessed two technical fouls, one for flopping.
Atlanta led by as many as 13 points in the first quarter. Chicago outscored the Hawks 17-4 over the final 3:42 of the half and led 60-59 at the break.
The Bulls continued to build on the momentum and used an 11-point third quarter from Vucevic to lead by as many as nine points. Chicago led 97-92 after three quarters.
Both teams played short-handed. The Hawks were without reserves A.J. Griffin, Patty Mills and Wesley Matthews because of an illness that has swept through the roster, and starter Clint Capela is out with a left adductor strain until after the All-Star break.
The Bulls were without Alex Caruso, a late scratch after bruising his left toe, and Patrick Williams (left midfoot bone edema).
Both teams have one game remaining before the break. Chicago plays at Cleveland on Wednesday, and Atlanta plays at Charlotte, also on Wednesday.