CHICAGO, April 27 (Ticker) -- Kirk Hinrich no longer is the overlooked guard in this series.

Hinrich had a pair of outbursts and scored a career-high 34 points to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 113-103 victory over the Washington Wizards and a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference first-round series.

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The fourth-seeded Bulls stormed back from an early 13-point deficit to open a 20-point lead before holding off the fifth-seeded Wizards, who don't seem to understand the sense of importance of the postseason.

Entering this series, much was made of Bulls guard Ben Gordon, whose fourth-quarter explosions have made him a favorite for Rookie of the Year, and the Wizards' quick backcourt of All-Star Gilbert Arenas and NBA steals leader Larry Hughes, who carried the team all season.

That left Hinrich as the forgotten guard in this series. But not anymore.

Hinrich scored 21 points in the fourth quarter, including 10 in just over two minutes that took the lead from 81-70 to 93-73 with 9:21 to go.

"I was feeling good, definitely," Hinrich said. "I felt every time I shot it, it was going to go in. I had good rhythm and the ball just seemed to find me in good position so I was able to knock my shots down."

"Hinrich was unbelievable," Arenas said. "In the second half, I don't think he even missed a shot."

Down the stretch, Hinrich simply was unstoppable. When the Wizards closed to 95-84, he made a jumper and free throw to rebuild the lead to 14 points. He sank a 3-pointer to keep the advantage at 101-87 with 4:13 to play.

"He had a phenomenal second half," Bulls coach Scott Skiles said. "He hit shots and made plays. I have not seen him shoot that well in that long of a stretch he was really feeling it tonight."

And when Arenas drilled a 3-pointer to make it 107-101 with 1:30 left, Hinrich made another 3-pointer and two foul shots for a 112-101 bulge in the final minute.

In just 24 minutes, Hinrich made 12-of-15 shots, including 5-of-5 3-pointers. There's no telling how many points he would have scored had he not spent most of the first half on the bench with foul trouble.

"I felt Kirk early in the game was a little bit off and he got into a little foul trouble as well," Skiles said.

Antonio Davis scored 18 points and Gordon added 14 for the Bulls, who have won all 28 series in which they have held home-court advantage. Their ability to win on the road will be put to the test in Games Three and Four in Washington on Saturday and Monday.

Arenas scored 39 points, Hughes added 19 and 10 rebounds and Antawn Jamison 18 for the Wizards, who gave away a 13-point lead in less than 10 minutes, committed 18 turnovers and played with very little intensity on defense.

"We had some some reckless stretches of basketball and we are certainly inexperienced in the playoffs," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. "Hopefully that will solve itself at home."

Washington bolted to a 23-10 lead as Arenas scored 11 points - two more than he had Sunday - and Hinrich took a seat with two fouls. But Chicago fought back behind deep reserves Jannero Pargo and Adrian Griffin and tied it at 35-35 on a dunk by Andres Nocioni with 7:34 left in the first half.

"We got to far ahead of ourselves," Jordan said. "We got the lead and then our role players were not able to hold on to it. I guess they didn't expect the Bulls to make shots."

"Our bench has been huge for us all year," Hinrich said. "It seems like somebody else steps up all the time. It says a lot about the character of our players."

Hinrich returned three minutes later and scored nine points in 87 seconds to give the Bulls a 51-48 lead before sitting with his third foul. Chicago never trailed thereafter.

"Kirk was kind of hiding in the weeds," Bulls center Antonio Davis said. "He had a rough first half. I think they prepared a little too much for Ben Gordon and Nocioni and forgot about what Kirk could do."