Originally created 02/17/99

Hawks slam dunk Bulls

CHICAGO -- Steve Smith scored 17 points and Alan Henderson added 14 as the Atlanta Hawks defeated the Chicago Bulls 83-67 on Tuesday.

Chicago got 27 points and 10 points from Toni Kukoc, but it wasn't enough to keep the Bulls from dropping to 1-5, their worst start since 1978-79. They've lost four straight at home for the first time since 1993-94, back when a guy named Michael Jordan was off shagging fly balls.

It was the second time in a week the Bulls lost to Atlanta (5-2). The teams play again Monday.

The Hawks led 47-36 at halftime, but the rebuilding Bulls managed a couple of comebacks in the third quarter. A pair of free throws from Kukoc and back-to-back baskets by Brent Barry pulled the Bulls within 51-47 with 8:13 left. Then Dickey Simpkins dunked off Barry's steal, and Mark Bryant hit a fadeaway jumper to make it 55-53 with 3:48 left.

But Smith hit a 21-foot jumper that sparked a 12-4 run to end the quarter, and that was enough to finish off the Bulls. Not even Atlanta going without a field goal until there was 6:13 left in the fourth mattered, because the Bulls couldn't hit anything.

While Atlanta also got double-figure efforts from Grant Long (13) and Mookie Blaylock (10), Barry was the only other Bull to score in double figures. He finished with 10.

The Bulls were a dismal 27-of-83 (33 percent) from the floor, though the Hawks weren't much better, shooting 28-of-71 (39 percent).

Kukoc gave the Bulls a 33-32 lead with six minutes left in the first half on a jumper and a 3-point basket. But Long's rebound basket sparked a 15-3 Atlanta run to end the half, and the Bulls never led again.

Ed Gray had a dunk off the fast break during the run, and Long scored six points during the decisive spurt. The Bulls, meanwhile, went scoreless for 4 1/2 minutes after Kukoc's 3-pointer.

Notes: Atlanta is one of only two teams to outrebound the Bulls, and the Hawks have now done it twice. They had a 52-44 advantage on the boards Tuesday. ... Long's 13 points gives him 8,007 career points. ... Chicago has shot better than 40 percent in only one game, a 44 percent effort in the season-opener at Utah. ... Charles Jones, activated by the Bulls Tuesday morning, got his first NBA playing time in the second quarter. He was scoreless in five minutes.


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