Eastern Conference powers Chicago and Atlanta collide tonight in the Peach State as the Bulls look to close within a game of the top seeded Celtics. The two squads are scheduled to take the floor at the Philips Arena at 7:00pm ET. The latest NBA Odds have Chicago listed as a -4 against the spread road favorite; the game total is presently set at 182.
Chicago, winner of seven of its last eight games, ran its record to 41-17 on Monday night with a 105-77 thrashing of the Washington Wizards. The away victory, the Bulls second in their current five game road swing, saw Chicago limit Washington to a 35.6 field goal percentage. The Bulls also outrebounded the Wizards 56 to 39.
Offensively the Bulls got another big night from Luol Deng, who scored 21 points on 9-of-17 shooting. Deng was one of five Bulls to reach double figures, the others being Carlos Boozer (12), Joakim Noah (19), Derrick Rose (21), and Kyle Korver (11). Noah and Boozer also produced double digit rebound totals, finishing the game with 11 and 10 respectively.
Chicago, which owns a 14.5 game lead over the Pacers in the Central Division, is 15-13 on the road and 24-10 in conference play this season.
Atlanta wrapped up a 3-4 road swing on Monday with a 90-100 loss to the Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. The Hawks hit just 34-of-85 from the field in the setback, spoiling a 21 point (10-of-15), 16 rebound night from center Al Horford.
Atlanta, which averaged a meager 90.8 points per game on its road trip, sealed its fate against the Nuggets with a horrendous 2-for-19 effort from beyond the arc. Joe Johnson, the Hawks leading scorer, and Jamal Crawford were the chief offenders, combining to go 2-for-13 from downtown.
The Hawks, now 36-24 overall, trail the first place Heat by seven games in the Southeast Division. If recent history holds true, Atlanta may be able to make up a little ground this evening. Johnson and company have won seven of their last eight against Chicago and they are 5-0 in their last five games hosting the Bulls.
Chicago Bulls -4 (-110), Over 182 (-110), -170 (Moneyline)
Atlanta Hawks +4 (-110), Under 182 (-110), +155 (Moneyline)