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Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Bulls 86, Hawks 73

By Nick Friedell



CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls earned an 86-73 win over the Atlanta Hawks in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Wednesday night at the United Center. The series is now tied 1-1.


How it happened: On the night he received his MVP trophy from Commissioner David Stern, Derrick Rose scored 25 points while Joakim Noah added 19 points and 14 rebounds. The Bulls played solid defense, holding the Hawks to just 34 percent from the field. Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford never got into the type of rhythm they had in Game 1, combining for just 27 points.

What it means: The Bulls are happy to get the win, but there are a lot of red flags after this game. They struggled offensively most of the night, shooting just 39 percent from the field. Carlos Boozer had eight points and 11 rebounds and had several shots blocked at the rim. He looks like a shell of the player he was earlier in the year. Rose played well at times, but he is still struggling on offense. He was 10-for-27 from the field and 1-for-8 from behind the arc. He also turned the ball over eight times. The big difference on this night was that the Bulls dominated the boards and played with an edge for most of the game. Still, the Bulls shouldn't feel very confident heading to Atlanta for Game 3. There are plenty of areas for them improve on, even though they picked up a much needed win in a game that Noah called a "must-win" immediately after.

Stat of the night: The Bulls outrebounded the Hawks 58-39.

What's next: The Bulls will practice at the Berto Center Thursday afternoon before heading out to Atlanta. Game 3 is Friday night at Philips Arena.