ATLANTA, GA - MAY 08: Josh Smith #5 of the Atlanta Hawks reacts after a basket against the Chicago Bulls in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Phillips Arena on May 8, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Bulls Vs. Hawks, Game 4: Atlanta Knots Series Back Up With 100-88 Win

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Referee Admits Derrick Rose Should Have Gotten Three Free Throws Late In Bulls' Loss To Hawks

With two-and-a-half minutes left in the Chicago Bulls' Game 4 against the Atlanta Hawks, Derrick Rose pump-faked a three-pointer with the Bulls down by six. Jamal Crawford bit on the shot, jumping into Rose, who then rose for a shot. Referee Bennett Salvatore's whistle blew. Three free throws for Rose, right?

Salvatore said that he blew his whistle inadvertently, and ordered a jump ball, which Atlanta won. The Hawks converted a bucket, leaving the Bulls down eight with two minutes to go. They didn't catch up, and video replay showed that Rose should have been awarded free throws. Salvatore admitted as much after the game. From NBA.com's Steve Aschburner:

"I blew my whistle. I was positive it was not a foul," the veteran ref told a pool reporter. "I blew my whistle by accident, which is an inadvertent whistle. That's why I disallowed it.

"Having watched the replay, it was a foul. I made a mistake. I was wrong."

Those free throws could have dropped the Bulls' deficit to three. But Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau and Rose himself expressed understanding at the mistake, and everyone lived happily ever after.

Via PBT.

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Bulls Vs. Hawks Final Score: Josh Smith, Atlanta Tie Series Back Up

The Atlanta Hawks came into Game 4 looking like a one-hit wonder, but kept it close against the Chicago Bulls Sunday night before exploding late in the fourth to take a 100-88 victory. Jeff Teague hit the dagger with just over a minute left to give the Hawks a 10-point margin.

Josh Smith played one of his best games ever despite earning Charles Barkley's halftime Dumbie Helmet award for his shot selection. He finished with 23 points, 16 rebounds, eight assists, two blocks and a steal, and probably would've either gotten that triple double or finished with almost 30 points had he avoided taking those long-range jumpers.

Chicago struggled from beyond the arc all night, hitting only three of their 16 attempts. Derrick Rose again blew up, posting 34 points and 10 rebounds, but Atlanta asserted itself on the boards and in the paint like it hasn't so far this series.

There was some suspect officiating down the stretch, as Rose appeared to be called for a foul while shooting a three, but referee Bennett Salvatore waved it off, saying an inadvertent whistle had already blown the play dead. The foul would've been worth 12 free throws, of course, so the fix is in. That's not true.

Game 5 is scheduled for Tuesday night in Chicago, and tonight's win ensures a Game 6 in Atlanta.

Be sure to check out our Bulls vs. Hawks hub for full series coverage. For more on the Hawks, visit Peachtree Hoops and SB Nation Atlanta. For more on the Bulls, visit Blog a Bull and SB Nation Chicago.

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Bulls Vs. Hawks Score: Chicago Takes Slim Lead Into Final Frame

The third quarter of Bulls-Hawks ended with yet another close score, as Chicago leads 69-67. Carlos Boozer drove to break a tie with seconds left, and Game 4 in Atlanta is up for grabs with 12 minutes left.

Boozer has 18 points and six rebounds, providing Derrick Rose's 21 points and eight assists some considerable backup. The Bulls have regained their edges from the line and in the paint, outrebounding Atlanta 32 to 26; Joakim Noah leads with nine boards.

Joe Johnson has 22 points and four assists for the Hawks, while Josh Smith is four assists away from a triple double. Then again, if it weren't for four or five ill-advised (literally, by Hawks fans) deep field goal attempts, the Hawks might have been able to lead for their third-straight period.

Be sure to check out our Bulls vs. Hawks hub for full series coverage. For more on the Hawks, visit Peachtree Hoops and SB Nation Atlanta. For more on the Bulls, visit Blog a Bull and SB Nation Chicago.

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Bulls Vs. Hawks Score: Derrick Rose Leads Charge, But Atlanta Takes Edge To Half

The Atlanta Hawks lead the Chicago Bulls 47-46 at the end of the first half, with Joe Johnson's 15 points leading the way. Josh Smith has provided nine points, eight rebounds, four assist and various good defensive plays, but it's hard to remember him doing anything besides jacking up 16-footers that had Philips faithful screaming, "No!" That's been happening for years down here, folks.

Derrick Rose started the game slow but finished the half with 13 points, five assists and three boards, with Luol Deng adding nine points and six on the glass. Carlos Boozer has gotten to a strong start, hitting several jumpers from outside on his way to 10 points, but has had trouble staying on the floor -- he has three fouls.

The Hawks went on an 8-0 run near the beginning of the second quarter, building a sizable lead before falling behind by a point with three minutes to go. Atlanta has somewhat closed Chicago's significant first quarter rebounding and free throw advantages.

Be sure to check out our Bulls vs. Hawks hub for full series coverage. For more on the Hawks, visit Peachtree Hoops and SB Nation Atlanta. For more on the Bulls, visit Blog a Bull and SB Nation Chicago.

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Bulls Vs. Hawks Score: Joe Johnson, Atlanta Fighting Back, Leading After First

Joe Johnson has nine points on four-of-four shooting as the Atlanta Hawks lead the Chicago Bulls 28-26 at the end of the first quarter. Luol Deng has been everywhere for the Bulls, picking up seven points and four rebounds as Derrick Rose has hit just one of his five field goal attempts.

The Hawks, particularly Zaza Pachulia and Josh Smith, are looking much more aggressive than they did in Game 3, but still not enough to avoid being overwhelmed on the glass. The newly contentious paint did contribute to Carlos Boozer sustaining two fouls, which sent him to the bench with about three minutes left in the period.

Just before the quarter ended, Pachulia was hit with a technical foul for fouling after a Marvin Williams personal had already been whistled. Chicago is doing a much better job of getting to the line, having shot 11 free throws to Atlanta's one.

Keith Bogans had to miss some time after spraining his right ankle during a defensive possession. He went to have it re-taped and was able to return with two minutes left.

Be sure to check out our Bulls vs. Hawks hub for full series coverage. For more on the Hawks, visit Peachtree Hoops and SB Nation Atlanta. For more on the Bulls, visit Blog a Bull and SB Nation Chicago.

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Bulls Vs. Hawks, Game 4: Derrick Rose Shoots For Encore With Chicago Up 2-1

Derrick Rose had the game of his life in the Chicago Bulls' Game 3 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, dropping 44 points and looking every bit the MVP he is. That pushed the Bulls to a 2-1 series lead and gave Chicago home court advantage the team had lost in Game 1.

But home court advantage may seem like a trite concern if the Bulls win Game 4 in Atlanta on Sunday (8 p.m. ET, TNT). Since the Game 1 loss in which Rose was inefficient and Joe Johnson shot as if he were a comet, Chicago has thoroughly dominated the Hawks. Atlanta's studded frontcourt has been mild, Johnson streaked back to Earth and only Jeff Teague has stood out for good reasons.

Joakim Noah has possible been the Bulls' best player in the series overall; Kris Willis wrote about Noah's impact on Saturday, after Game 3. Al Horford is considered the better player of the two Florida products, but Noah has simply dominated the smaller Horford in this series.

Be sure to check out our Bulls vs. Hawks hub for full series coverage. For more on the Hawks, visit Peachtree Hoops. For more on the Bulls, visit Blog a Bull.

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