NBA News Wire
Bulls 96, Wizards 78
WASHINGTON — Guard D.J. Augustin scored 25 points, center Joakim Noah had 21 points and 12 rebounds as the Chicago Bulls used a dominant first half to win their fifth straight game, 96-78 over the Washington Wizards on Saturday night.
Augustin made six 3-pointers and Noah recorded his fifth straight double-double for the Bulls (45-32), who led by 28 points in the first half and 52-26 at halftime.
Chicago, which entered the day tied with the Toronto Raptors for third place in the Eastern Conference, outscored Washington 16-4 during the opening nine minutes of the second quarter.
Forward Carlos Boozer scored 16 points for the Bulls in their first victory in three tries over the Wizards this season. Chicago outrebounded Washington 27-16 in the first half of the potential first-round playoff matchup.
Guard John Wall scored 20 points and center Marcin Gortat had 19 for the Wizards (40-36), who had won two straight and four of five. Washington shot 3 of 16 on its 3-point attempts.
The sixth place Wizards entered the day 1 1/2 games behind the Brooklyn Nets and two games ahead of the Charlotte Bobcats.
Brooklyn, Charlotte and Toronto played in separate games on Saturday.
The Bulls and Wizards played on Friday and then traveled to Washington. Only the home team labored in the back-to-back scenario.
Augustin went 2 of 8 on shots inside the arc, but 6 of 11 on 3-point tries.
After shooting 2 of 14 from the field in Chicago’s win over Milwaukee, Noah
sank 9 of 13 attempts.
The Wizards missed all eight of their 3-point attempts, went 0 of 4 from the free throw line and shot 31 percent from the field en route to their season-low points in for a first half before the crowd of 19,661.
The Bulls stingy defense helped lead to the struggles. Augustin’s scoring outburst helped with giving Chicago a massive lead. He tallied 14 points in the second quarter and sank four from beyond the arc in the first half.
Washington pulled within 72-61 during a third quarter push only to see the Bulls counter. Noah scored the next seven points and Augustin’s sixth 3-pointer capped a 19-4 run as Chicago led 91-65 with 6:37 remaining in the series finale.
The Wizards previously won 102-88 on Jan. 13 in Chicago and 96-93 at home four days later. Both victories came shortly after the Bulls traded forward Luol Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Wizards forward Trevor Ariza scored two points on 1 of 9 shooting.
NOTES: The Wizards recalled rookie G Glen Rice Jr. from the Iowa Energy of the NBA’s Developmental League on Saturday. Selected 35th overall in the 2013 Draft, Rice averaged 17.2 in 19 games over two stints with Iowa. He previously played in 11 games for the Wizards, averaging 2.9 points. … Rookie F Erik Murphy, waived by Chicago earlier this week, was claimed on waivers by the Utah Jazz on Saturday. … Entering Saturday, the Bulls have won an Eastern Conference best 32 games since Jan.1. … Chicago next plays at the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday, the same day Washington hosts the Charlotte Bobcats.
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