Satoransky leads way as Bulls finish what they started with win in Atlanta
Save the timeouts, tell the starters to untie their shoes -- the Bulls managed to hold on to a huge lead in Atlanta on Wednesday.
Thanks to a breakout game from guard Tomas Satoransky, who finished with a career-high 27 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds, the Bulls rolled past the Hawks 113-93 at State Farm Arena.
Satoransky was expected to help ignite the Bulls' offense when he came over from Washington in a sign-and-trade, but his high game so far this season had been 9 points.
"I think we were all frustrated with the way the last game went," Saotransky told reporters in the locker room. "But this league is all about that, forgetting that you almost beat one of the best teams playing 36 minutes of good basketball. You have to bounce back in another city and I think we did that today and hopefully this can be a turnaround game for us."
The Bulls (3-6) opened their first 20-point lead of the season in this game. Their previous high was a 19-point lead the previous night against the Lakers, and that game turned ugly in a hurry when the Lakers bench blitzed the Bulls with a 16-0 run to open the fourth quarter.
There was nothing resembling a comeback in this one. The Bulls cruised through the second half after leading 56-41 at intermission.
"I just think that last night hurt," rookie Coby White said. "We were up 20, then we gave the lead away and that was the third time we did that this season. I think last night hurt, but we came out to set the tone early and we came out to win for sure tonight."
Six Bulls scored in double figures. Besides Satorasnky, Lauri Markkanen had 17 points, Otto Porter and Kris Dunn added 13 each, while White and Zach LaVine scored 10 each. LaVine helped get the Bulls going early with a 360-degree dunk on a fast break.
Porter went to the locker room in the second quarter and didn't play after halftime due to a left foot contusion. There was no official word on his prognosis after the game, but he was in the locker room helping to celebrate the victory. Porter was a catalyst of the good start, scoring 10 points in the opening quarter.
Porter's absence opened playing time for forward Chandler Hutchison, who made his season debut on Tuesday after recovering from a hamstring injury. Hutchison ended up playing 19 minutes and scored 9 points.
Hawks second-year rising star Trae Young scored just 9 points, going 3-for-12 from the field and 0-for-8 from 3-point land. The Bulls had a nice defensive game plan, but they also caught Young on a good night. He played 30 minutes in a win over San Antonio on Tuesday in his return from an ankle injury. Ex-Bull Jabari Parker led Atlanta with 18 points.
"I'm really happy for our guys and I'm proud of them," coach Jim Boylen said. "They played 48 minutes together. They fought, they responded, they were hurting from the way the (Lakers) game ended, but I think they held onto the things we did well.
"I'm just really happy for them, proud of them. I've said all along this is a high character group. I thought they showed it tonight."
Boylen ended his news conference in appropriate Southern fashion by declaring, "I'm going to go have a Chick-fil-A."