Josh Smith Leads Hawks Over Bulls

It’s back to square one for the Atlanta Hawks and the Chicago Bulls.

Josh Smith silenced his critics with a near-triple-double performance while Jeff Teague came up big late in the game to help the Hawks tie the Eastern Conference semifinal series at two games apiece with a 100-88 victory over the Bulls Sunday at the Philips Arena, where Atlanta had not won a second-round playoff game since its inauguration in 1999.

Smith poured in 23 points, grabbed 16 rebounds, and dished out eight assists to stop, at least temporarily, talks about his being an underachiever. The 25-year-old power forward scored 11 points in the fourth quarter, when the Hawks broke open what had been a close match.

After Bulls star Derrick Rose tied the game for the last time with four and a half minutes left, 84-84, Teague responded with a drive of his own, sparking a 10-0 run that pushed the Hawks out of reach. Rose still finished with 34 points, but hit only 12 of 32 attempts and committed two late turnovers that hurt that Bulls’ chances of winning the match.

The series will return to Chicago on Tuesday for Game 5.