CHICAGO, Feb. 25 (Ticker) --
In a game full of runs, Kirk Hinrich
the Chicago Bulls withstood one final push by the Washington
Hinrich sank five 3-pointers and scored 26 points as the Bulls
handed the Wizards a sixth straight road loss, 97-90.
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Rookie Ben Gordon
added 20 points for Chicago, which made
11-of-25 3-pointers and limited Washington to 3-of-19 from the
arc. Gordon leads the NBA with 16 games with at least 10 points
in the fourth quarter but surprisingly was blanked in the final
Chicago, which won for the fifth time in six games, trailed
early in the second quarter, 27-25, before embarking on a 23-6
run, opening a 48-33 advantage on a jumper by rookie Luol Deng
with 2:10 left in the half.
"We had nine turnovers in the first quarter - and I am actually
going to utter this phrase - 'only' ended up with 20 (actually
19) turnovers," Bulls coach Scott Skiles
said. "The rest of the
game we were not as bad."
Washington pulled within nine points at the break, then opened
the third quarter on a 19-7 surge to grab a 60-57 lead midway
through the period. But the Bulls closed the quarter on a 19-8
burst to take an eight-point cushion into the final 12 minutes.
"We had lost some intensity over the last couple of weeks,"
Hinrich said. "But I think we got that back tonight. I can't
remember the last time we had intensity like this. It's fun to
play. We're hungry to keep this winning going."
The Bulls led by 15 points midway through the fourth quarter and
held a 90-80 advantage after a 3-pointer by Hinrich with four
minutes left. But the Wizards scored the next eight points,
pulling within 90-88 on a 3-pointer by Antawn Jamison
exactly a minute to play.
Bulls big man Tyson Chandler
countered with a hanging bank shot
with 42 seconds left, and after Washington's Michael Ruffin
split a pair of free throws, Hinrich found Antonio Davis
uncontested dunk with 25 seconds left for a five-point cushion.
"When you get within two with a minute to play, you have to find
the energy to win," Jamison said. "I'm not going to use
fatigue as an excuse."
scored 36 points and fellow All-Star Jamison
added 19 and 10 rebounds for the Wizards, who had won their
previous three games against the Bulls.
"Gilbert Arenas, we were all over the guy and he had 36 points,"
Skiles said. "He hit some very difficult shots."
The Wizards did not get much out of their reserves, who managed
just eight points. The Bulls' bench contributed 42.
"Yeah, we were a little sluggish tonight," Arenas said.
"However, give them credit; they got the best of us. They kept
subbing and we couldn't. It takes a lot of energy to play
catch-up like we did. That was a big difference with them
having fresh legs out there."
Chicago, which improved to a season-high four games over .500
(28-24), shot just 41 percent (35-of-86) from the floor but
limited Washington to 39 percent (36-of-92).
"They (Bulls) played very good defense," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan
said. "They also have a deep bench and a third scorer in
Gordon coming off the bench."