Bulls Gore Hawks, Clinch East Finals Spot

The Chicago Bulls are going to the NBA Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since a guy named Michael Jordan led the team to its sixth title in eight years in 1998 after mauling the Atlanta Hawks, 93-73, on Thursday in Game 6 of their conference semifinals series.

Carlos Boozer had his best game of the series, scoring 23 points and grabbing 10 rebounds while Derrick Rose added 19 points and 12 assists to help the Bulls close out the Hawks and set up a mouthwatering series with the Miami Heat. Chicago started strong to take a 10-point lead after the first quarter and never looked back, thanks mainly to a stifling defense that limited Atlanta to 37 percent from the field.

With Rose contented to passing, the rest of the Bulls responded with an all around effort that proved once again just how deep this Chicago team is. Loul Deng scored 13, Joakim Noah chipped in 11 while Taj Gibson added 10 off the bench.

Up next for Chicago is Miami, which it swept 3-0 in their regular season meetings, including a close win on the Heat homecourt. The Eastern Conference finals will begin Sunday with the Bulls hosting the Heat at the United Center.