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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, January 4th (All times Eastern)

Atlanta Hawks (18-15) at Chicago Bulls (13-18), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Bulls have played better basketball of late and will try to keep that momentum going Saturday night when they host the Atlanta Hawks.

The Bulls won two of their last three and four of the previous six. They've clawed back into the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

On Thursday, the Bulls showed some swagger en route to a 94-82 home victory over the Boston Celtics. Chicago racked up three technical fouls, but ended a two-game home losing streak.

"It was a good win for us," said Joakim Noah. "We've got to keep playing with energy, keep playing hard, not taking possessions off. We can't play 70, 80 percent. We have to give everything we have every night. When you come in the locker room you've got to be tired."

Noah flirted with a triple-double on Thursday. He finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists and Carlos Boozer managed 16 points. Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, Mike Dunleavy and Jimmy Butler also scored in double figures for Chicago.

The Bulls held the C's under 40 percent from the field, under 20 percent from long range and forced 20 turnovers.

The Hawks lost for the second time in three games on Friday when Andre Iguodala nailed a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer and the Golden State Warriors won their eighth straight game with a 101-100 triumph.

His shot wiped away a 15-point fourth-quarter deficit.

Pero Antic tallied 16 points and seven boards for Atlanta, which has dropped two of its last three.

"We followed the gameplan," Antic said. "At the end, we just lost the game."

Shelvin Mack finished with 15 points off the bench, while Jeff Teague chipped in 14. Paul Millsap, DeMarre Carroll and Mike Scott each had 12 points in the loss.

Kyle Korver made a 3-pointer in his 102nd consecutive game.

The Hawks play three of their next five on the road.

The Bulls have won two straight against the Hawks and four of the last five matchups. Chicago has taken four straight regular-season meetings between the two at home.

01/04 10:34:47 ET