Rob Carr, Getty Images
Ronnie Brewer #11 of the Chicago Bulls holds back teammate Derrick Rose #1 after Rose was called for a technical foul by referee Eli Roe (R) during the first half against the Washington Wizards at Verizon Center on January 30, 2012 in Washington, DC.
Derrick Rose scored a season-high 35 points, Carlos Boozer had 18 and Kyle Korver added 17 to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 98-88 win over the Washington Wizards on Monday night.
One day after a four-point loss in Miami, the Bulls rebounded to improve their Eastern Conference-leading record to 18-5. They had lost two of their last three.
Meanwhile, the Wizards have lost 16 of 20. Washington won two of its previous three games — both against the woeful Charlotte Bobcats, who have the worst record in the NBA.
Rose, who was 10 for 20 from the field and 14 of 15 from the free-throw line, had 34 points in his previous two games. He had 13 in the first quarter for the Bulls, who never trailed.
John Wall led the Wizards with 20 points, while Nick Young had 17 and JaVale McGee scored 16.
Chicago quickly opened up a 21-10 lead and had a 26-16 advantage after the first quarter. Midway through the second, the Wizards scored seven straight to cut the lead to 36-30, but the Bulls stretched their lead to 51-40 at halftime. Korver had 14 in the first half, including four 3-pointers.
Chicago ran off 11 straight points in the third quarter to take a 70-49 lead with 5:24 left. Rose had 15 of the Bulls' 25 points in the third.
Rose was upset about Chicago's loss on Sunday — when he missed a pair of key throws and a potential tying jumper in the final 30 seconds — and vowed not to let it happen again before Monday's game.
"If I ever get in that position again, I know it will be totally different. Yesterday isn't going to do anything but make me stronger as a player," Rose said.
Against Washington, Rose came out quickly — hitting six of eight from the field in the first quarter.
When the teams last met on Jan. 11, the Wizards scored just 64 points — fewest in franchise history. They lost that game by 14. This game was slightly more competitive for Washington, but it never seriously challenged in the second half.
Early in the fourth, the Bulls led by 19, but Washington cut it to eight with 6:50 to play. Boozer hit three straight baskets, and Chicago led 92-78.