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Chicago advances to 1st conference final since '98

Photo by Heather Middleton

Photo by Heather Middleton

The Associated Press

ATLANTA -- Carlos Boozer scored 23 points and MVP Derrick Rose had 12 assists, leading the Chicago Bulls to a 93-73 rout of the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday night that finished off in the Eastern Conference semifinal in six games.

The 4-2 series victory sent the Bulls to their first conference final since 1998, when Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen were on their way to a second three-peat. The Bulls fell on hard times after that glorious era, including three straight 60-loss seasons, but they have put together a deep, talented team that won more games than anyone during the regular season.

Yep, even more than the touted Miami Heat, whose Big Three are waiting in the next round with a spot in the NBA finals on the line. Game 1 is Sunday in Chicago.