Preview: Hawks at Bulls

By By The Sports Xchange
POSTED: 11:01 PM PST February 10, 2014    UPDATED: 11:01 PM PST February 10, 2014 

The Atlanta Hawks have had trouble generating offense of late - and if recent history is any indication, a visit to the United Center isn't going to help. Atlanta carries a three-game losing streak into Chicago on Tuesday night for a date with a Bulls team that trails the Hawks by just a half-game for fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings. The Bulls returned to the .500 mark for the sixth time since Jan. 20 with a 92-86 triumph over the Los Angeles Lakers.While the Bulls look to halt a win-loss pattern that has remained largely constant for the past three weeks, the Hawks hope to figure things out on the offensive end. Atlanta racked up an average of 122.5 points in consecutive victories over the Philadelphia 76ers and Minnesota Timberwolves, but followed that up by managing just 87 points per game in losses to the Indiana Pacers, Minnesota Timberwolves and - most recently - the Memphis Grizzles.TV: 8 p.m. ET, SportSouth (Atlanta), CSN ChicagoABOUT THE HAWKS (25-24): As good as power forward Paul Millsap has been for Atlanta - particularly with starting center Al Horford lost for the season with a torn pectoral muscle - he has been prone to mistakes that have cost his team. Saturday's loss to the Grizzlies provided a perfect look at Millsap's year to date - he racked up 20 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and five steals but was on the hook for five turnovers. Four of them came in a 6 1/2-minute stretch of the third quarter that saw Memphis fight back from a six-point deficit to take a lead it wouldn't relinquish.ABOUT THE BULLS (25-25): As it has throughout the season, an injury to a key starter has provided opportunity for a role player in the Chicago lineup. With power forward Carlos Boozer missing back-to-back games with a calf injury, Taj Gibson has been thrust into the starting role - and is taking advantage in a big way. Gibson erupted for 26 points and 13 rebounds in a 102-87 defeat at the hands of the Golden State Warriors, then followed that up with a 18-point effort in the win over the Lakers.BUZZER BEATERS1. Chicago has won three straight meetings, holding Atlanta to an average of 72.7 points over that stretch.2. Millsap averages 14.5 points and 7.6 rebounds in 13 career games versus the Bulls.3. Atlanta is 6-2 in games following losses by four points or fewer.PREDICTION: Bulls 90, Hawks 81