NBA: Sefolosha helps drive Hawks to third straight win, 115-107 over slumping Bulls

Atlanta Hawks forward Thabo Sefolosha (#25) shooting against Chicago Bulls' guard Dwyane Wade (#3) during their NBA game on Nov 9, 2016.
Atlanta Hawks forward Thabo Sefolosha (#25) shooting against Chicago Bulls' guard Dwyane Wade (#3) during their NBA game on Nov 9, 2016.PHOTO: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

ATLANTA (AFP) - Defensive specialist Thabo Sefolosha showed his versatility on Wednesday night, scoring a season-high 20 points as the Atlanta Hawks held on to beat the Chicago Bulls 115-107 at Philips Arena.

"It's obvious he had a ton of confidence, made one or two breakaway lay-ups and made a couple shots and started feeling good," Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer said. "Confidence is a great thing. That was pretty special."

Sefolosha had 18 points in the first half and finished eight of nine from the field with five rebounds.

Defensively, he had three steals and made a crucial block on a Rajon Rondo jumper to halt Chicago's momentum and prevent Atlanta from blowing an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter.

"It felt pretty good tonight," Sefolosha said. "I was glad we got the win."

The Hawks (6-2) had eight players score in double figures, including Dwight Howard with 18 points and 10 rebounds and Paul Millsap with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Dennis Schroder had 13 points.

Chicago (4-4) enjoyed a season-high 39 points from Jimmy Butler, who added seven assists, six steals and four rebounds. Dwyane Wade tallied 25 points as he made his first seven shots from the floor and finished 10 of 17.

The win was the third straight for Atlanta while Chicago have lost four of their last five games.

The Atlanta bench outscored Chicago's bench by a whopping 54-18.

"Credit the whole group, but the guys off the bench were critical for us tonight," Budenholzer said. "So much is expected from our starters, for them to get picked up like that is really helpful."

Chicago coach Fred Hoiberg said he will re-evaluate how he utilises his bench.

"Our bench hasn't had very good moments this year," he said. "We've just got to get them playing better."