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Thursday, May 12, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Bulls 93, Hawks 73

By Nick Friedell



ATLANTA -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls finished off the Atlanta Hawks with a convincing 93-73 win in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Thursday night at Philips Arena. The Bulls advance to face the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals.

How it happened: Carlos Boozer had his best game in weeks, going off for 20 points and 10 rebounds to give the Bulls the offensive lift they've been seeking in the postseason to complement Derrick Rose. Rose had another big night as well, scoring 19 points, while Luol Deng added 13 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals. The Hawks’ Al Horford and Jamal Crawford combined to go just 4-for-20 from the field. This was without question the Bulls’ most complete performance of the postseason -- and one of their most complete performances of the year.

What it means: The Bulls dominated from the start and never let the Hawks find any consistency on offense. Their defense frustrated Atlanta from beginning to end. It was the type of defensive performance Tom Thibodeau had been begging for, and the type of win that will give the Bulls confidence that they can compete with the Miami Heat. The matchup with the Heat is something that Bulls players have been looking forward to since "The Decision". LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all spurned the Bulls in the summer to sign with Miami. The Bulls get the chance to prove them wrong in what will surely be a physical and entertaining series.

Stat of the night: The Bulls had 34 assists. The Hawks had just 13. The Bulls shot 53 percent from the field. The Hawks shot just 37 percent.

Up next: The Bulls will face the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday night at the United Center.