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Washington drops sixth straight on the road

CHICAGO (AP) -- Kirk Hinrich and most of his young teammates have
never been in an NBA playoff race. They're about to find out what
it's like.

Hinrich scored 26 points and rookie Ben Gordon added 20 to lead
the Chicago Bulls to a 97-90 victory over the Washington Wizards on
Friday night.

Othella Harrington added 12 points and rookie Chris Duhon had 11
points and eight assists for the Bulls, who moved four games over
.500 -- tying their season-high -- and clinched their third straight
winning month.

"We just want to keep it going. A lot of us hasn't been in
(this) position so far in our careers. How we handle it is going to
depend on how well we do," Hinrich said. "Hopefully we can stay
levelheaded and keep getting better."

Gilbert Arenas had 36 points for Washington, giving the All-Star
30 or more points for the 12th time in 17 games.

The Wizards led 60-57 midway through the third quarter, but
Hinrich made a 3-pointer to spark a 9-0 run. Gordon set up Antonio
Davis for an easy dunk, and the next time down Gordon hit a jumper
for a 66-60 lead. Chicago never trailed again.

After starting the season 0-9, Duhon isn't surprised how
competitive the Bulls are despite starting two rookies; himself and
Luol Deng, with rookies Gordon and Andres Nocioni getting
significant time off the bench.

"A lot of us have come from winning programs, we have played in
big-time games, we played in sold-out arenas. All we had to do was
get adjusted to the NBA league," Duhon said.

Hinrich hit a jumper to make it 85-70 with 7:13 left, but the
Wizards made a game out of it and pulled to 90-88 on Antawn
Jamison's 3-pointer with 1:00 left.

Washington's Michael Ruffin was fouled and went 1-of-2 at the
free throw, cutting the Chicago lead to 92-89, but Hinrich found
Antonio Davis to make it 94-89 with 25.5 seconds left.

With Larry Hughes out and Juan Dixon on the injured reserve, the
Wizards struggled to get any production from their bench, which was
outscored 42-8.

"We were outmanned when we were making those stretches. Players
were getting tired and we didn't have anyone to sub in and get
those fresh legs out there," Arenas said.

Trailing 55-46 early in the third quarter, the Wizards outscored
the Bulls 14-2 in a three minute span. Jared Jeffries had a
three-point play, Jamison made a 3 and Brendan Haywood had a basket
to give the Wizards a 60-57 lead midway through the quarter. Arenas
had nine points in the span.

The Bulls opened the second quarter by outscoring the Wizards
20-5. Gordon scored 10 points in the span. He started it with a 3,
then converted a four-point play when he was fouled by Ruffin on
his 3-point field goal. Harrington capped it off with a jumper,
giving Chicago a 42-29 lead with 5:41 left in the second quarter.

Gordon scored 12 points in the half for the Bulls and Hinrich
added 10. Arenas scored 20 points for Washington in the first half
on 10-of-17 shooting, while Jamison shot 3-of-13 and scored seven
points.

Jamison finished with his 22nd double-double of the season. He
had 19 points and 10 rebounds. Haywood added 13 points for
Washington.

The 2001 draft class of Eddy Curry, Tyson Chandler and Kwame
Brown didn't fare well Friday night.

Curry scored just five points in 23 minutes and Chandler had
five points and nine rebounds for Chicago. Brown played just eight
minutes and didn't score for the Wizards.

"It didn't seem like Eddy had a lot of life so (I) went another
route," said Bulls coach Scott Skiles.

Game notes
Hughes has missed 18 games with a broken right thumb
suffered on Jan. 15 against Phoenix. He was activated from the
injury list Wednesday, but also didn't play in Washington's 93-83
victory over Memphis that evening. Wizards head coach Eddie Jordan
expects Hughes to play Sunday against Sacramento. "I think that's
the target date," said Jordan. ... Arenas has scored 20 or more
points in one half 10 times this season.