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Professional

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Associated Press
Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson (22) takes a shot against Washington Wizards forward Kevin Seraphin (13)

Okafor helps Wizards top Bulls

WASHINGTON — Emeka Okafor had 15 points and 16 rebounds, helping the surging Washington Wizards beat the Chicago Bulls 86-73 on Saturday night.

John Wall and Nene each scored 16 points for Washington, which has won consecutive games for the second time this season. The Wizards have won five straight at home for the first time in five years, and seven of 10 overall.

It's a marked improvement from the start of the season, when Washington (11-31) dropped 28 of its first 32 games.

Chicago had won a season-high three in a row for the third time.

Nate Robinson scored 19 points for the Bulls, and Joakim Noah narrowly missed a triple-double with nine points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists, which equaled his career high.

The Wizards outscored Chicago 23-11 in the third quarter to take a 73-55 lead. The 11 points were a season low for the Bulls. Chicago had twice as many turnovers (six) as field goals (three) in the period.

The Wizards put together an 11-0 run late in the second quarter, holding the Bulls scoreless for nearly five minutes while building a 50-44 halftime lead.

Washington outscored Chicago 10-2 to start the third and led 60-46 with 8:58 to play. Nene hit two more field goals and two free throws as the Wizards extended the lead to 69-51 with 4:28 left in the third.

NOTES: Within a minute in the third quarter, Bulls F Carlos Boozer was charged with a flagrant foul for elbowing Okafor and a technical foul. ... Chicago F Luol Deng missed his fifth straight game with a strained right hamstring. He warmed up before the game. ... The game was a sellout — the third of the season for Washington. ... The Wizards trailed after the first quarter for the first time in their last eight home games.

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