Chicago at Washington

Bulls trample Wizards, gain edge on No. 2 seed in East

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- Even before the playoffs start, the Chicago Bulls are focused, motivated by a goal they set before the season: 50 wins.

Well, 49 down, one to go.

Ben Gordon scored 30 points, Chicago held Washington to 34 percent shooting, and the Bulls beat the depleted Wizards 101-68 on Sunday for a third consecutive victory.

"There's still something about winning 50," Bulls coach Scott Skiles said after his club improved to a season-high 17 games over .500 at 49-32. "Particularly the guys that have been here since I've been the coach, I'd like to see them get that. I'd like to see them be able to put that in their pockets, because it's just something to say: They were on a 50-win team."

If Chicago defeats New Jersey in its finale Wednesday, it would give the franchise a 50-victory season for the first time since 1997-98, when Michael Jordan and Co. won the NBA championship.

Here's something else at stake for the Bulls on Wednesday: A victory would seal the No. 2 seed for the Eastern Conference playoffs.

"We set that goal in the beginning of the season, to get 50 or 50-plus games," said Gordon, who banged his left wrist on the rim while missing a dunk in the third quarter but stayed in the game. "We have one more chance to do it, and we can lock up the second seed, so that's definitely something we're going to try and accomplish."

The Wizards, meanwhile, fell to 40-40 as they try to hold onto the No. 6 seed in the East without injured All-Stars Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler.

Arenas limped into the locker room for a pregame visit Sunday, his first appearance at Washington's arena since he had season-ending knee surgery. Arenas left the premises before tipoff, which might have been for the better. He didn't have to watch Chicago's typically stifling defense limit Washington to a season-low point total.

"A lot of things did not go our way," said Wizards coach Eddie Jordan, whose team has lost seven of its last eight games. "Hopefully, it lights a fire under us."

Making matters worse, Arenas' replacement in the lineup, Antonio Daniels, sat out with a bruised back, giving Donell Taylor his second career start.

Washington -- which hadn't scored fewer than 73 points in a game this season -- put four players in double figures, but the high scorer was DeShawn Stevenson with 13. The Bulls rank second in the NBA in opponents' shooting percentage, and they repeatedly prevented the Wizards from getting into their offense.

A typical sequence: Washington's first possession of the second quarter ended with Taylor rushing a 3-point attempt as the shot clock expired, and the ball bounced over the backboard.

"What else can you say? We just played terrible," Washington's Jarvis Hayes said.

The Bulls led 49-27 at halftime, holding the Wizards to a season low for a half as Washington shot 11-for-36 (31 percent), including 0-for-7 on 3-pointers. Stevenson, Hayes and Antawn Jamison went a combined 2-for-19.

Chicago was particularly stingy at the beginning of each of the first two quarters.

Washington trailed 12-0 at the start and didn't make a field goal until Etan Thomas scored inside four minutes into the game. Then the Wizards went more than six minutes at the outset of the second quarter without a field goal, going 0-for-8 until Roger Mason hit a jumper that made it 35-19 with 5:40 left in the half.

"We knew they had some guys down," Gordon said, "so we just wanted to come and take advantage of them early and not make it a close game."

Notes

  • Arenas, who had surgery April 5, didn't use crutches as he hobbled around in black slippers. Butler (broken right hand) sits on the sideline during home games; Arenas hasn't been there since being hurt. "Gil is Gil. He's very, very different," Jordan said. "I know who Gil is. We all know who Gil is. So there's nothing mandatory from me that he has to be here."
  • Chicago had lost 13 of its previous 14 games at Washington.
  • Daniels was hurt Friday at Atlanta. "I tried to run and I couldn't," he said Sunday. "If it were a playoff game today, I don't think I could play."
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
 
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Ben Gordon takes full advantage of the injured Wiz by scoring 30 points in the 33-point blowout. (AP)
Ben Gordon takes full advantage of the injured Wiz by scoring 30 points in the 33-point blowout. (AP)

Scoreboard
Chicago (49-32) «28212824101
Washington (40-40) 1413231868
CHI:B. Gordon 30 Pts
CHI:B. Wallace 10 Reb
CHI:K. Hinrich 10 Ast
WAS:D. Stevenson 13 Pts
WAS:E. Thomas 11 Reb
WAS:D. Taylor 5 Ast
Players of the Game
WashingtonChicago

E. Thomas

B. Gordon
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
111113043
Chicago
B. Gordon, SG3311-202-243330
B. Wallace, C314-71-310329
P. Brown, PF281-40-08322
L. Deng, SF275-116-872116
K. Hinrich, PG262-52-211038
C. Duhon, PG262-50-04314
T. Thomas, PF171-63-410125
A. Nocioni, SF144-90-03019
M. Allen, PF122-42-24036
T. Sefolosha, SG121-50-01202
V. Khryapa, SF83-30-02026
M. Sweetney, PF82-20-03114
A. Griffin, SFDid Not Play
A. Barrett, PGDid Not Play
M. Andriuskevicius, CDid Not Play
Totals 38-8116-21572821101
 46.9%76.2% 
Washington
D. Stevenson, SG364-153-433213
A. Jamison, PF353-120-05138
E. Thomas, PF315-91-3111311
J. Hayes, SF284-142-330311
D. Taylor, PG265-70-345210
R. Mason, PG262-60-04135
D. Songaila, PF194-70-04128
A. Blatche, PF170-51-23241
B. Haywood, C120-21-43101
M. Hall, F60-20-01010
M. Ruffin, PF50-10-01000
A. Daniels, PGDid Not Play
C. Booth, PFDid Not Play
G. Arenas, PGDid Not Play
C. Butler, SFDid Not Play
Totals 27-808-1942152368
 33.8%42.1% 
Other Games
SA 86 Final
Dal 91
NJ 111 Final
Ind 107
Sac 105 Final
LAC 100
Min 108 Final
GS 121
Phi 102 Final
Det 91
NY 105 Final
Tor 107
Bos 86 Final
Orl 88
Sea 98 Final
LAL 109