The Chicago Bulls took a 3-2 lead in a best-of-seven series against the Atlanta Hawks after cruising to a 95-83 win on May 10 in Game 5 of the NBA Eastern Conference Second Round.
The Bulls stuck to their bread-and-butter basics, feeding the ball to MVP guard Derrick Rose, who finished with a game-high 33 points with nine assists. But Chicago also got a lift in contribution from an unexpected source in young forward Taj Gibson, who scored all of his 11 total points in the fourth quarter, helping his team run away with the victory.
“Taj is a good player,” Rose said after the game. “I think he really doesn’t know how good he is.”
Veteran forward Loul Deng also added 23 points for the Bulls.
Jeff Teague led Atlanta with 21 points, while forward Josh Smith scored 16 points. Joe Johnson had 15 points, Zaza Pachulia scored 13 and Al Horford recorded 12 points with 10 rebounds in the loss.
Game 6 will tip on Thursday, May 12 in Atlanta. If the Bulls win, they’ll advance to the Eastern Conference Final for the first time since 1998 when Michael Jordan won his sixth and final championship in Chicago.