The Bulls saw a modest two-game winning streak come to an end on Saturday, as they dropped a 97-85 decision to the New Jersey Nets. Carlos Boozer and Mike James each contributed 16 points to pace the Bulls, who fell behind 22-3 early on and shot just 39.3 percent for the game.
Chicago was once again without star guard Derrick Rose, who missed his fifth consecutive game. Rose will be a game-time decision today, as the Bulls try to avoid losing consecutive games for the first time all season.
"We just didn't play well from the start. They got the lead, we cut it down right before the half, and just gave it right back," said Bulls forward Luol Deng.
The Bulls, who are in the midst of a six-game homestand, are 11-2 in their building this season.
Atlanta, meanwhile, lost for the third time in four games on Saturday, falling to Portland, 97-77. Joe Johnson scored 19 points and Willie Green netted 17 off the bench for the Hawks, who have lost six of nine.
"I thought we were a step slow on pretty much everything tonight," Atlanta head coach Larry Drew said.
Atlanta started the game off red-hot, as it connected on 12 of its first 18 shots. However, the Hawks managed just 18 field goals after the first quarter and were outrebounded 50-27.
The Bulls have split their two matchups with the Hawks this season, but have won three of the last four meetings. Atlanta has also dropped two straight and three of their last four in Chicago.