Joe Johnson scored 34 points and Jamal Crawford came off the bench to add 22 points for the Hawks at the United Center in Chicago. The teams return to the same venue on May 4 for Game 2 in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference series.
Derrick Rose, who will be named the NBA Most Valuable Player tomorrow according to the Chicago Tribune, hobbled off the court with an ankle problem after catching the back of Crawford’s heel on the last play of the game. Rose scored 24 points to lead the Bulls.
The Hawks lost their past three second-round series 4-0, against the Orlando Magic last year, the Cleveland Cavaliers the year before and the New York Knicks in 1999. Their last victory at this stage of the postseason came on May 8, 1997, when they beat the Bulls by the same 103-95 score line before losing the series 4-1.
Also tonight, the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers get their second-round series under way against the Dallas Mavericks.
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