The Atlanta Hawks scored a season-low 76 points in their most recent game. They haven't even averaged that many in their last six trips to Chicago.
They'll try to break out of their offensive funk Tuesday night against the stingy Bulls at the United Center, where the Hawks have lost six straight with some genuinely ugly offensive performances.
Atlanta (25-24) fell 79-76 at home to Memphis on Saturday despite holding the Grizzlies to an NBA-record low one free-throw attempt. The Hawks committed 21 turnovers while struggling with Memphis' pace, which denied them the usual rhythm that has them second in the Eastern Conference at 102.1 points per game.
"To hold a team to 79 points is a good thing in this league," said Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer, whose team is averaging 87.0 points on a three-game skid. "Offensively, we have to get to our pace and the way we want to play."
Paul Millsap had 20 points, 11 rebounds and six assists in the loss. He also had a double-double (16 points, 12 rebounds) in the only meeting with the Bulls this season, a 91-84 road loss Jan. 4 as the Hawks shot 37.2 percent.
That, oddly enough, was Atlanta's best offensive performance in Chicago in years. The Hawks have lost six straight at the United Center dating to their 2011 East semifinal series, averaging 75.2 points.
This season, Chicago is holding opponents to 92.8 points per game, which trails only Indiana.
Mike Dunleavy scored a game-high 20 points off the bench in Atlanta's visit last month. He's started the 18 games since and averaged 11.3 points in an 11-7 stretch that has the Bulls back to .500 despite Derrick Rose's season-ending knee injury, the trade of Luol Deng and the recent absence of Carlos Boozer.
"The whole time I've been here we've had some real tough injuries and we've always been at the edge, but we always crawl and fight our way back. That's our mindset," forward Taj Gibson said. "We've got young guys, new guys, and they believe in the same thing. We believe we've got a shot at the playoffs. We believe in each other. And that shows by the way we play."
The Bulls (25-25) are a half-game back of the Hawks for fourth in the East after ending a 3-3 trip against the West with a 92-86 win Sunday against the Los Angeles Lakers. Gibson scored 18 after putting up 26 in the first game Boozer missed with a calf injury.
Boozer, the Bulls' leading scorer at 14.8 points per game, said he hoped to be back to face Atlanta.
Chicago blew a 16-point lead Thursday at Golden State, then saw a 13-point lead inside the 7-minute mark Sunday dip to an 88-84 advantage in the final minute.
"It was very important to close this one out, being the last game of the trip," guard Kirk Hinrich said. "That's something we have to work on - keeping our foot on the gas pedal and not relaxing. We didn't do that (Sunday), but we'll definitely take the win."
Joakim Noah's 20 points and 13 rebounds led the way.
"He played tough and played smart, which is not an easy thing to do," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau told the team's official website. "He was terrific."
Noah's 6.2-point career regular-season average against the Hawks is his lowest versus any East opponent, but he had 10 points, 12 rebounds and a season-high five blocks in last month's meeting.