Chicago Bulls guard Ayo Dosunmu, second from right, drives to the basket against Atlanta Hawks forward Jalen Johnson, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Monday, February 12, 2024, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Alex Slitz)

ATLANTA – Ayo Dosunmu had a career-high 29 points and added seven assists to help the Chicago Bulls record their most points of the season and beat the Atlanta Hawks 136-126 on Monday night.

DeMar DeRozan also had 29 points and Nikola Vucevic finished with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Coby White added 20 points and seven assists.

Bogdan Bogdanovic and De'Andre Hunter led the Hawks off the bench. Bogdanovic had 28 points and Hunter scored 23. Trae Young had 19 points but was 2 of 10 from 3-point range.

“We didn’t want it to be a shootout, but we wanted to play fast,” Dosunmu said. “Even when we scored, they came out quickly. We wanted to fight blow for blow with them. We wanted to do our best and defend on defense, but the way the game was going, both teams were scoring and then we had some big, significant stops down the stretch.

The victory kept Chicago two games ahead of the Hawks for ninth place in the East. The Bulls have won both games against Atlanta this season.

Dosunmu made 12 of 18 shots and 5 of 7 3s. He continually created havoc for the Atlanta defense with drives to the basket that created opportunities for him and his teammates.

“We didn’t start the game very well, but Ayo’s pace and rhythm in that second half really got us back into the game. He was in decline,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. “Whether it was knocking down some 3s or getting to the rim, he did a lot of good things tonight.”

The Hawks have won six of their last eight games, but have allowed the Bulls to shoot 55.4% from the floor and 46.4% from 3 to slow their momentum as the All-Star break approaches. The Bulls were averaging 111.5 points per game heading into the contest.

“We had a lot of late changes,” Hawks coach Quin Snyder said. “We all have to defend the ball better.”

The Bulls trailed most of the first half, but closed the second quarter on a 12-2 run to take a 60-59 lead. Dosunmu had eight points during the run as Chicago scored on five consecutive possessions.

The Hawks were without center Clint Capela, who won't return until after the All-Star break due to a left adductor strain.

Torrey Craig started in place of Alex Caruso, who injured his foot in Orlando in the Bulls' previous game.


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NEXT APPOINTMENT

Bulls: Finish a four-game road trip in Cleveland on Wednesday night.

Hawks: Visit Charlotte on Wednesday night.



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