Rapid Reaction: Bulls 98, Wizards 79

March, 15, 2011
3/15/11
9:36
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls crushed the Washington Wizards 98-79 on Tuesday night at the United Center to move to the top of the Eastern Conference standings.

How it happened: Playing without Carlos Boozer (sprained ankle) and Joakim Noah (flu-like symptoms), Derrick Rose had 23 points, Luol Deng added 20 and Keith Bogans, yes, that Keith Bogans, finished with 17 as the Bulls rolled to an easy win. Kurt Thomas and Taj Gibson combined for 27 rebounds.

What it means: The Bulls did what they were supposed to do. They crushed a terrible Wizards team and they did so by getting contributions from everybody. The truth is that they didn't need Boozer or Noah to beat Washington and it showed. The ultimate key for the Bulls is that the win puts them a half-game up on the Boston Celtics for the top spot in the East.

Stat of the night: Wizards center JaVale McGee had 12 blocks, the most ever by an opposing player versus the Bulls in the regular season. He finished with a triple double (11 points, 12 rebounds and 12 blocks).

What's next: The Bulls hit the practice floor on Wednesday before heading out to Newark to face off against The New Jersey Nets on Thursday night. They'll be looking for their eighth win in a row.

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Derrick Rose
PTS AST STL MIN
15.9 4.3 0.5 31.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Noah 11.3
AssistsJ. Noah 5.4
StealsJ. Butler 1.9
BlocksJ. Noah 1.5