CHICAGO — The Chicago Bulls looked as if they were on their way to a lopsided loss. Aaron Brooks had other ideas.
Brooks scored 23 points and the Bulls rallied from 18 down to beat the Atlanta Hawks 91-85 on Wednesday night in the regular-season finale for both NBA teams.
The Bulls locked up the third seed in the Eastern Conference and a first-round matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks with their fourth straight win.
Brooks carried the Bulls with Derrick Rose sitting out the second half because of a sore left knee. Brooks scored nine in the third quarter and pulled Chicago back into it after Atlanta went up by 18.
Jimmy Butler scored 21. Gasol added 18 points and 13 rebounds for his 54th double-double, and the Bulls prevailed even though Rose scored just two points in 10 minutes. The star point guard said he would have played through it had it been a postseason game.
The Bulls’ Joakim Noah (left hamstring tendinitis) sat out the game and Taj Gibson exited with a strained left shoulder.