Wizards-Bulls Preview

The Associated Press

Three games in three days is likely to be a grueling stretch for most NBA teams. That's apparently not the case for the Chicago Bulls.

The Bulls have a good chance to conclude that stretch undefeated Wednesday night while trying to continue their recent success over the visiting Washington Wizards, who are coming off their first win of the season.

Chicago (9-2) had its six-game winning streak snapped with a 109-94 loss at Atlanta on Saturday. The Bulls had only one day to recover before beginning what is actually a favorable stretch of three consecutive games.

After rolling to a 92-68 win over Detroit at home Monday, Chicago had a little tougher time in its 111-100 victory at Minnesota on Tuesday. Despite re-aggravating a turf toe injury in the first half, Derrick Rose finished with a season-high 31 points and 11 assists while Luol Deng added 21 and 11 rebounds as the Bulls shot 53.1 percent to hold off the pesky Timberwolves despite blowing a 24-point first-half lead.

"At the end we just found a way to win,'' said Rose, whose team is in the midst of playing nine games in 12 days.

Until Minnesota's loss Tuesday, teams were 6-0 in the finale of playing three games in three days. The Bulls have a good chance to sweep that stretch while trying for a sixth straight win over Washington (1-8), which last beat Chicago 101-95 on Feb. 22, 2010.

"I'm not sitting out," said Rose, who has totaled 53 points and 19 assists in the last two games. "I know that. I'll be playing.''

The Wizards, who have been held to 83.8 points on 39.8 shooting during their five-game overall skid to the Bulls, have dropped five in a row at Chicago. Washington last won at the United Center on April 5, 2008.

Rose has averaged 25.1 points in his last seven games against the Wizards.

Washington should have some momentum after snapping the franchise's longest skid to open the season with a 93-78 home win over Toronto on Tuesday. The Wizards avoided becoming the sixth team since the 2002-03 season to lose its first nine games.

"We didn't just win. We actually played well," said forward Andray Blatche, who had nine points and eight rebounds after not starting because of an apparent shoulder injury.

Rashard Lewis and Nick Young each scored 15 while John Wall matched a season high with nine assists as the Wizards shot a season-high 48.8 percent while allowing their fewest points of the season.

"We had a good, solid performance from a lot of players,'' said embattled coach Flip Saunders.

Though Washington snapped one extended skid, it will try to end a seven-game road losing streak that dates to a 97-91 win at Charlotte on April 3. The Wizards are 3-42 away from home since the start of last season.

Wall is averaging 13.7 and 7.0 assists this season, but he's scored just 18 on 6-of-22 shooting in the last two games. The 2010 overall No. 1 draft pick had 17 with 11 rebounds, seven assists and four steals in a 98-79 loss at Chicago on March 15.

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