ATLANTA (Reuters) - The Chicago Bulls advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 1998 with a series-clinching 93-73 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday.
Displaying the kind of offensive and defensive balance that earned them the best regular-season record, the Bulls brushed past the Hawks to close out the best-of-seven series 4-2.
Chicago will now face the surging Miami Heat for a place in the NBA Finals.
League MVP Derrick Rose delivered one of his most efficient performances of the postseason, finishing with 19 points and 12 assists while taking just 14 shots -- well below his series average of more than 27 attempts per game.
Rose’s team mates carried more of the load with Carlos Boozer tallying 23 points and 10 rebounds.
The Hawks were blitzed from the start, trailing by 10 after the first and second quarters, before falling behind by 17 after three.
Joe Johnson scored a team-high 19 points and Josh Smith added 18 for the Hawks.
Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford