The Bulls traveled to Atlanta on Wednesday night for a matchup between two of the East’s more disappointing teams thus far in the season. Chicago entered the game with reports swirling about turmoil in the locker room, with Zach LaVine at the center of it all, while the Hawks have had similar reports of internal tension come out recently, along with the sudden news that their president of basketball operations Travis Schlenk was stepping down to take an advisory role.
All of that served as the backdrop for a late December game that felt oddly important, as both are searching for something positive to lean on at the moment. Much like their last meeting, this one came down to a bucket inside the last second, but this time it was the Bulls getting the better of the Hawks on a buzzer-beater, as Ayo Dosunmu corralled a loose ball and put it up for the win after a DeMar DeRozan miss hit John Collins in the chest and fell to the floor.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) December 22, 2022
The win lifts the Bulls to 13-18 on the season while the Hawks fall back to 16-16, as Chicago followed the lead of DeRozan and LaVine, who combined for 50 in the win (with Nikola Vucevic chipping in 20). Unfortunately the win wasn’t without some further injury concern for the Bulls, as Alex Caruso suffered a right shoulder sprain and potential concussion that knocked him out of the game, but for at least one night there’s something positive to talk about in the world of Chicago basketball.
For the Hawks its they type of loss that’s haunted them this season, as a reeling Bulls team should be a win they get as a team hoping to take a leap towards contention. Instead, they continue treading water at .500, with Trae Young putting forth a strong performance with 34 points, while Onyeka Okongwu filled in admirably for the injured Clint Capela with 18 points and 11 rebounds, but a tough shooting night prior to a fourth quarter rally proved to be too much to overcome in the end.