Bulls continue NBA hot streak

The Chicago Bulls win their fifth game in a row after thrashing the Washington Wizards 96-78 at Verizon Center.

    Augustin made six three-pointers for the Bulls, who are battling the Toronto Raptors for the third seed [AFP]
    Augustin made six three-pointers for the Bulls, who are battling the Toronto Raptors for the third seed [AFP]

    D.J. Augustin scored 25 pointst as the Chicago Bulls turned a possible first-round playoff preview into a rout, never trailing in a 96-78 win over the Washington Wizards.

    Augustin made six of 11 three-pointers and Carlos Boozer added 16 points for the Bulls, who have now won five in a row.

    The Bulls clamped down on the Wizards early, taking advantage of turnovers and a rebounding advantage to build the lead.

    Trailing by 12 at the end of the period, the Wizards were then completely undone by a 10-point second quarter.

    Back-to-back 3-pointers by Augustin made the score 36-18, and a free throw by Jimmy Butler in the final minute of the first half gave the Bulls a 28-point lead.

    John Wall's 30-foot bounce pass to Trevor Booker on a fast break led to a dunk pulled Washington within 11 and brought the crowd to its feet.

    But Joakim Noah took over and quickly squashed the rally as his three-point play started a 12-0 run early in the fourth quarter that put the game away.

    John Wall scored 20 points, and Marcin Gortat had 19 for the Wizards, who sit in sixth place in the East.

    Pistons beat Celtics

    At Auburn Hills, Michigan, Rodney Stuckey came off the bench to score 26 points and help the Detroit Pistons rally for a 115-111 win over the Boston Celtics.

    The Pistons trailed by 19 points in third quarter, and were down 95-85 at the start of the fourth, before going on a 15-4 run that gave them their first lead since early in the game.

    The teams traded the lead several times before Stuckey made a pair of free throws with 57 seconds left to break a 111-all tie.

    Jerryd Bayless tried for a go-ahead shot in the final seconds but his three-point try rimmed out.

    Also in the Eastern Conference, the Charlotte Bobcats clinched a playoff spot with a 96-94 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    Elsewhere, the Orlando Magic had a 100-92 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Brooklyn Nets beat the Philadelphia 76ers 105-101 and DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points as the Toronto Raptors beat the Milwaukee Bucks 102-98.



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