Butler propels Wizards past Bulls
Washington, DC (Sports Network) – Caron Butler had 26 points, 10 rebounds and
seven assists as the Washington Wizards toppled the Chicago Bulls, 113-103.
Gilbert Arenas shot just 5-of-16 from the floor for 20 points while Antawn
Jamison had 18 points and nine boards for the Wizards, who have won three of
four and eight of their last 10.
Antonio Daniels contributed 15 points off the bench and DeShawn Stevenson
chipped in with 13 for Washington, which has won seven straight at home and is
14-4 at the Verizon Center this season.
Kirk Hinrich poured in 33 points and dished out nine assists while Ben Gordon
shot 5-of-6 from beyond the arc and finished with 25 points for the Bulls, who
have dropped four of their last five.
Chicago raced out to an 11-2 lead after the jump ball, but Washington
responded with an 18-2 spurt of its own and held a 27-18 lead at the end of
the first quarter thanks to four straight free throws by Arenas.
The Wizards led by as much 15 late in the second quarter before the Bulls
ripped off a 16-2 run over the last five minutes of the half to cut their
deficit to 46-43 at the break.
Washington came out strong to start the second half, scoring the first eight
points of the third quarter en route to a 13-2 run that gave the Wizards a
Chicago, though, once again responded with another run of its own, outscoring
Washington 20-6 over the next four minutes to tie the game at 65-65 with 3:09
left in the third. Hinrich led the way for the Bulls, scoring 11 points,
including back-to-back threes to even the contest.
The Wizards managed to close the third out strong, taking a 76-71 lead into
the final quarter as Daniels converted a three-point play with two seconds
Six straight points by the Bulls early in the fourth brought Chicago within a
basket before Washington put the game away with 12 consecutive points by
Daniels, Butler and Arenas that gave the Wizards a 96-82 lead with 4:29 left
Two Luol Deng free throws followed by an Andres Nocioni trey brought the Bulls
back within nine, but Arenas answered with a jumper and a three-pointer of his
own as Chicago never threatened down the stretch.
Nocioni scored 20 points and Deng finished with 13 for the Bulls. Chicago
center Ben Wallace added a game-high 16 rebounds…Washington center Etan
Thomas, who had been out with a sprained left ankle, returned to the lineup
for first time since December 9. He scored five points in just under 16
minutes of action.