WASHINGTON — D.J. Augustin scored 25 points Saturday night, Joakim Noah had 21 points and 12 rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls turned a possible first-round playoff preview into a laugher, never trailing in a 96-78 win over the Washington Wizards
Augustin made 6 of 11 3-pointers – but only 2 of 8 2-pointers – and Carlos Boozer added 16 points for the Bulls, who have won five in a row and are battling the Toronto Raptors for the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. Augustin has averaged 19.8 points during the winning streak.
John Wall scored 20 points, and Marcin Gortat had 19 for the Wizards, who sit in sixth place in the East. If they hold that spot, they would face the third-seeded team.
CAVALIERS: All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving feels he’s being unfairly portrayed in the media and is adamant that he’s only focused on winning.
One day after he went on Twitter to defend himself against a report that said he wants out of Cleveland, Irving met with reporters before Saturday’s game against the Charlotte Bobcats.
Irving said he’s been frustrated by a “barrage” of negative reports “all season,” saying it’s “all nonsense to me.”
NETS: Center Kevin Garnett returned to the starting lineup after missing 19 games because of back spasms.
Nets coach Jason Kidd said Garnett would “give it a shot” Saturday night against the Philadelphia 76ers.
TIMBERWOLVES: Forward Dante Cunningham has rejoined the team, two days after he was arrested and later charged with felony domestic assault.
Cunningham was released from jail on Friday and took a flight on Saturday morning to Orlando, Fla., where the Timberwolves were scheduled to play the Magic. Cunningham was expected to be in uniform for the game.
Cunningham cannot be disciplined by the league and the Timberwolves for the same transgression, under terms of the collective bargaining agreement. The league is expected to wait until all the details emerge before deciding on imposing any punishment.
WARRIORS: Fired assistant Darren Erman on Saturday for “a violation of company policy,” general manager Bob Myers said.
Erman is the second member of coach Mark Jackson’s staff to be removed in the past two weeks. Jackson reassigned assistant Brian Scalabrine to the team’s NBA Development League affiliate in Santa Cruz on March 25 because of what Jackson called a “difference in philosophies.”
“Obviously, the timing is unfortunate, but we hold all of our employees, whether in basketball operations or other aspects of the business, accountable for their actions and to the same standard,” Myers said. “We move forward and thank Darren for his contributions.”