WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- With their 17-year playoff drought
behind them, the Washington Wizards hope to even their Eastern
Conference first-round series with the Chicago Bulls in Monday's
After losing twice at the United Center, the fifth-seeded
Wizards returned home to post their first postseason victory
since 1988 on Saturday, coasting to a 117-99 triumph over the
fourth-seeded Bulls in the third game of the series.
Gilbert Arenas scored 32 points and Larry Hughes and Antawn
Jamison added 21 apiece for Washington. In addition to the
contributions from the "Big Three," the Wizards got a big lift
from reserve center Etan Thomas, who had 20 points and nine
rebounds in 23 minutes.
Arenas, who scored 25.5 points per game in the regular season,
has bounced back from a disappointing first game by averaging
35.5 points in the last two. Arenas was held to just nine
points on 3-of-19 shooting in the series opener.
While Arenas has recovered from a shaky opener, Bulls Rookie of
the Year candidate Ben Gordon has failed to match his success
from Game One. After scoring 30 points in the opener, Gordon
has totaled just 22 in the next two. He made just 2-of-9 shots
and scored nine points Saturday.
Tyson Chandler scored 15 points to lead six players in double
figures for the Bulls, who shot a dismal 39 percent (33-of-84).
Chandler also was one of two players to foul out for Chicago,
which picked up 38 fouls - the most in team playoff history.