CHICAGO, Jan. 27 (Ticker) -- Ben Gordon and Tyson Chandler kept the Chicago Bulls moving in the right direction.

Gordon scored 26 points and Chandler grabbed a season-high 20 rebounds as the Bulls won their third straight game, a 90-79 victory over the Washington Wizards.

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Luol Deng scored 15 points for Chicago (19-23), which never trailed as it continued to climb back into the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Bulls moved within one-half game of Washington (19-22), which holds the final spot.

Both teams ended long postseason droughts last year, with the Wizards eliminating the Bulls in six games in the first round. However, Chicago has won both meetings this season.

"Obviously our defense was good and I thought we were very active," said Bulls coach Scott Skiles, whose team allowed the Wizards to shoot just 36 percent (31-of-86) from the field. "We got enough stops on defense to get a couple of baskets on the other end."

Gordon, the 2005 Sixth Man Award winner, made 9-of-22 shots, including 3-of-4 from the arc. He scored nine points in the final four-plus minutes, helping rebuild the lead from two points to double digits.

"It means a lot," Gordon said. "It shows that we can stick to gether on defense and get stops when we need them. That was how we were able to win the game."

Chandler also scored 12 points as he continued to turn around a disappointing season. He had 11 rebounds on the offensive end, keeping the Bulls competitive on the glass.

In his last three games, the 7-1 Chandler is averaging 12.7 points and 14 rebounds.

"These are definitely the games I thought about having," Chandler said. "It feels good now and I hope to continue having these types of games."

Gilbert Arenas scored 23 points, Antawn Jamison added 21 and 10 rebounds and Caron Butler 12 and a career-high 16 boards for the Wizards, who held a 53-47 advantage on the glass.

"We got some great looks and didn't make the shots," Wizards forward Caron Butler said. "They cut off the lanes and contested our shots. They also took away the backdoor opportunities and kept us out of our rhythm all night."

Two free throws by Andres Nocioni opened the fourth quarter and gave the Bulls a 69-57 lead before the Wizards scored 10 straight points capped by a 3-pointer by Arenas, who made just 6-of-17 shots.

Chandler ended that surge with a follow shot. A basket by Gordon extended the lead to 75-69 with 4:37 to go.

After Arenas made two free throws, Gordon converted a three-point play. He answered a 3-pointer by Jamison with one of his own for an 83-76 bulge with 1:46 remaining.

The Wizards had just one basket in the final 5:37.

"We didn't execute well enough, we didn't stay organized," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. "We didn't get rebounds, we threw the ball away. We didn't contain anybody, so frankly I did a poor coaching job.

"Our last practice and shootarounds were not serious enough. I allowed things to happen on the floor that I should have stopped. I will make sure that will not happen again."