Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith, left, drives to the basket as Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose defends during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Feb. 20, 2012, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Brian Kersey)
Reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose returned to the Bulls lineup after a 5-game hiatus and led his team to a 90-79 victory over the stubborn Atlanta Hawks.
Rose, who had been sidelined with back pain, scored 23 points and dished out 6 assists during the effort. Joakim Noah helped the effort with 16 rebounds.
The team is now 26-8 on the season.
Things got rocky when Jannero Pargo teed off for a second half charge and drilled five three-pointers.
But Rose's driving style helped pull the Bulls ahead.
While Rose returned, veteran guard Richard Hamilton (right thigh) remained sidelined.
The Bulls also were without backup point guard C.J. Watson, who left in the third quarter of Saturday's crushing loss to New Jersey after taking a blow to the head from Kris Humphries.