Sunday, December 28, 2008
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ATLANTA - Joe Johnson scored a season-high 41 points, Josh Smith also set a season high with 24, and the Atlanta Hawks withstood Ben Gordon's 3-point barrage to beat the Chicago Bulls 129-117 on Saturday night.
Johnson finished one point shy of his career high. The Hawks, who normally prefer a lower-scoring pace, topped their previous season best by 10 points.
Gordon scored 33 points and was 6-of-8 behind the arc to pass Scottie Pippen and become the Bulls' career leader in 3-pointers. Rookie Derrick Rose added a career-high 27 points.
The Bulls matched their season high for points and shot 54 percent from the field but still were not close at the end.
The Hawks led only 116-112 before Marvin Williams' three-point play with 1:44 left. Williams scored on a baseline drive and made the free throw after Larry Hughes' foul. Smith then grabbed the offensive rebound after Johnson's miss and dunked to push the lead to 121-112 with 1:04 left.
After Gordon's missed jumper on the other end, the Bulls had to start fouling.
Tyrus Thomas had 15 points and nine rebounds for Chicago. Thabo Sefolosha added 14 points as the fill-in starter for injured forward Luol Deng, who was held out after spraining his left ankle Friday night in Miami.