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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, April 5th (All times Eastern)

Chicago Bulls (44-32) at Washington Wizards (40-36), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Bulls are still fighting for that third spot in the Eastern Conference and will visit the playoff-bound Washington Wizards Saturday at the Verizon Center.

The Bulls are even with the Toronto Raptors for the East's third seed with six games to play and have won four straight to stay in the hunt. The Bulls posted a 102-90 victory Friday at home versus the lowly Milwaukee Bucks and were led by 17 points from Kirk Hinrich and Jimmy Butler.

Carlos Boozer and D.J. Augustin tallied 14 points apiece, with Boozer adding 11 rebounds for the Bulls, winners in nine of the last 12 games.

"They played harder than us for a stretch. But when we needed to score, we got it done," said Gibson.

Chicago will visit Minnesota on this quick trip and has a 19-18 record as the guest. It has held 11 of the last 12 opponents under 100 points and is first in opponents' scoring (91.8). The Bulls are second in opponents' field goal percentage at 43.0.

The Bulls are 32-14 since Jan. 1.

The Wizards are averaging 100.7 points this season, but needed only a 90-89 decision to get past the New York Knicks Friday night.

Wizards guard Bradley Beal scored 28 points, including the game-winning jumper with 22.9 seconds remaining, and answered Raymond Felton's 3-pointer with 33.5 seconds to go for an 89-88 New York edge. J.R. Smith's last-chance try was off the mark.

John Wall had 19 points and nine assists for Washington, winners in four of five.

"We got stops and we played the right way," said Wall. "We made it tough on those guys."

Washington held Knicks star Carmelo Anthony to a season-low 10 points and has won two straight and four of five games.

The Wizards, who own a 20-17 home record, are sixth in the East -- 1 1/2 games behind Brooklyn and two ahead of Charlotte with six to play. They will host Charlotte on this quick homestand and are unbeaten in the last three contests in D.C.

Washington has defeated Chicago twice already this season, including a 96-93 triumph at home on Jan. 17, and is 4-1 in the last five meetings. The Bulls have lost their last three games in the nation's capital.

04/05 10:21:31 ET

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