Bulls romp to close in on top seed

WASHINGTON — In the first quarter, Derrick Rose brought out the oohs and aahs with a backward between-the-legs pass to Joakim Noah for a fastbreak dunk. In the second quarter, Luol Deng was walking to the locker room even before his 3-pointer from the corner swished at the halftime buzzer.

In the fourth quarter, Rose fed Deng and Noah for back-to-back dunks that pushed the lead to 24. It was then time for Bulls fans to change their chant from "M-V-P" for Rose to "Sca-la-breeee-nee" for beloved sub Brian Scalabrine, who came off the bench and hit a 19-footer that had the fans roaring in the road arena.

The Bulls frolicked past the Wizards 105-77 on Monday night, an easy win coach Tom Thibodeau's team needed against a bad team as it heads into the teeth of a five-game road trip.

"Thibs came in and talked to us and was telling us we can't let down against teams like this, where we've got to come out and play aggressive and have an edge," said Rose, who had 21 points and nine assists. "You don't never want to come into a game like this where you give them confidence."

The Bulls won their third straight and seventh in eight games to move within a game of the Heat in the Eastern Conference. Up next: games at Atlanta, Orlando and Miami to finish up the road trip.

GAME HIGHLIGHTS: Ray Allen had 25 points and Paul Pierce 21, including a late 3-pointer and two free throws, to help the visiting Celtics hold on for a 107-102 victory over the Jazz. … Newcomers Raymond Felton and Wilson Chandler combined for 31 points to help the host Nuggets rally for a 100-90 win over the Hawks, their third in four games since the deal that sent Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: Spurs point guard Tony Parker is expected to miss two to four weeks with a strained left calf muscle. … Mike Bibby reached a buyout agreement with the Wizards, freeing him after two games. Bibby was acquired last week from the Hawks. … Cavaliers forward Antawn Jamison will likely miss the rest of the season with a broken finger that will require surgery. … Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari sat out against the Hawks because of a sprained left big toe.

Bulls 105, Wizards 77

CHICAGO (105): Deng 9-17 1-1 21, Boozer 3-11 6-6 12, Noah 8-10 3-4 19, Rose 7-17 5-6 21, Bogans 1-2 0-0 3, Gibson 2-2 0-0 4, Brewer 1-4 0-0 2, Korver 4-10 0-0 11, Watson 2-5 4-5 8, Asik 1-2 0-0 2, Scalabrine 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 39-81 19-22 105.

WASHINGTON (77): Howard 5-10 0-0 10, Blatche 6-14 3-3 15, McGee 1-3 3-4 5, Wall 3-14 3-4 9, Young 6-15 0-0 14, Seraphin 2-5 2-2 6, Lewis 1-3 0-0 3, Evans 3-7 0-0 7, Crawford 1-6 0-0 2, Booker 2-6 0-1 4, Yi 1-3 0-0 2, Shakur 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 31-87 11-14 77.

Chicago 25 25 28 27— 105

Washington 20 17 20 20— 77

3-Point GoalsChicago 8-23 (Korver 3-6, Deng 2-5, Rose 2-8, Bogans 1-2, Watson 0-2), Washington 4-13 (Young 2-6, Lewis 1-2, Evans 1-3, Howard 0-1, Crawford 0-1). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsChicago 62 (Noah 11), Washington 42 (Blatche 11). AssistsChicago 24 (Rose 9), Washington 19 (Wall 10). Total FoulsChicago 17, Washington 21. A17,873 (20,173).

Suns 104, Nets 103, OT

PHOENIX (104): Hill 2-6 0-0 4, Frye 3-8 0-0 7, R.Lopez 6-8 2-3 14, Nash 3-13 4-4 10, Carter 2-10 0-0 5, Gortat 8-11 1-2 17, Dudley 3-6 2-2 10, Pietrus 5-10 0-0 13, Warrick 7-12 2-2 16, Brooks 3-8 0-0 8. Totals 42-92 11-13 104.

NEW JERSEY (103): James 3-4 0-0 6, Humphries 8-15 0-1 16, B.Lopez 12-23 4-5 28, Williams 5-14 2-2 13, Morrow 6-16 5-5 22, Outlaw 5-8 0-1 10, Vujacic 2-6 0-0 5, Uzoh 1-2 1-2 3, Petro 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 42-89 12-16 103.

Phoenix 26 26 17 27 8— 104

New Jersey 23 28 15 30 7— 103

3-Point GoalsPhoenix 9-25 (Pietrus 3-5, Brooks 2-3, Dudley 2-3, Frye 1-4, Carter 1-6, Hill 0-1, Nash 0-3), New Jersey 7-21 (Morrow 5-10, Vujacic 1-3, Williams 1-5, Outlaw 0-3). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsPhoenix 52 (Frye 8), New Jersey 51 (Humphries 15). AssistsPhoenix 28 (Nash 15), New Jersey 32 (Williams 18). Total FoulsPhoenix 14, New Jersey 20. TechnicalsNew Jersey defensive three second 2. A15,836 (18,500).

Celtics 107, Jazz 102

BOSTON (107): Pierce 4-10 11-11 21, Garnett 7-13 2-2 16, Krstic 4-7 3-4 11, Rondo 9-16 0-0 18, Allen 9-15 2-2 25, Green 2-6 1-1 5, Davis 2-8 3-4 7, Wafer 0-1 0-0 0, Bradley 2-6 0-1 4, Johnson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 39-82 22-25 107.

UTAH (102): Kirilenko 6-11 6-8 18, Millsap 5-13 7-7 17, Jefferson 11-21 6-7 28, Harris 6-11 6-7 19, Bell 1-4 0-0 2, Miles 1-6 0-0 2, Hayward 1-5 2-2 4, Favors 4-5 1-2 9, Watson 0-2 3-4 3. Totals 35-78 31-37 102.

Boston 30 26 23 28— 107

Utah 21 32 22 27— 102

3-Point GoalsBoston 7-15 (Allen 5-8, Pierce 2-4, Davis 0-1, Green 0-1, Wafer 0-1), Utah 1-7 (Harris 1-4, Miles 0-1, Bell 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsBoston 48 (Garnett 14), Utah 47 (Jefferson 19). AssistsBoston 22 (Rondo 11), Utah 16 (Harris 5). Total FoulsBoston 27, Utah 21. TechnicalsGarnett, Boston defensive three second, Jefferson, Utah defensive three second. A19,911 (19,911).

Nuggets 100, Hawks 90

ATLANTA (90): Williams 4-14 5-6 13, Jo.Smith 4-7 2-2 10, Horford 10-15 1-2 21, Teague 1-6 5-6 7, Johnson 10-23 2-2 22, Crawford 3-12 3-5 11, Pachulia 1-3 2-2 4, Powell 1-3 0-0 2, Wilkins 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 34-85 20-25 90.

DENVER (100): Chandler 6-14 2-2 15, Martin 6-11 2-7 14, Nene 6-13 1-1 13, Lawson 3-5 0-0 6, Afflalo 2-10 4-4 8, Felton 7-12 2-2 16, J. Smith 6-10 5-6 19, Andersen 3-3 0-0 6, Harrington 1-4 1-2 3. Totals 40-82 17-24 100.

Atlanta 25 22 23 20— 90

Denver 21 25 25 29— 100

3-Point GoalsAtlanta 2-19 (Crawford 2-8, Wilkins 0-1, Jo.Smith 0-1, Teague 0-1, Williams 0-3, Johnson 0-5), Denver 3-14 (J. Smith 2-4, Chandler 1-4, Felton 0-1, Harrington 0-1, Afflalo 0-4). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsAtlanta 55 (Horford 16), Denver 50 (Martin 11). AssistsAtlanta 15 (Horford 4), Denver 22 (Felton 7). Total FoulsAtlanta 17, Denver 15. TechnicalsPachulia, Atlanta defensive three second. A16,163 (19,155).

Bulls romp to close in on top seed 02/28/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 12:07am]

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