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Bulls pass an easy test

By Wire services
Published February 13, 2004

CHICAGO - Rookie Kirk Hinrich had a season-high 14 assists and matched a best with 23 points Thursday night in the Bulls' 107-87 victory over the Celtics.

Hours after Chicago's Jerome Williams criticized teammates for not knowing the plays, the Bulls responded with their most lopsided win of the season.

Jamal Crawford, who led the Bulls with 27 points, and Hinrich took turns hitting 3-pointers against the Celtics' soft defense. Hinrich made six 3s, Crawford four and the Bulls were 11-for-23.

Paul Pierce matched a season low with four points for the Celtics.

Suspended forward Vin Baker missed his 10th consecutive game, a number that could allow Boston to terminate his contract.

In a statement, Baker said he had done everything required of him to remain in compliance with his aftercare program following treatment for alcoholism and awaited clearance to play again.

"I am surprised and disappointed that I have not been cleared to play as of today, but I remain optimistic knowing I have gone above and beyond what has been asked of me during my absence," he said.

The Bulls placed Scottie Pippen (left knee) on the injured list and activated Chris Jefferies.

NUGGETS 107, BLAZERS 98: Voshon Lenard scored 31 and Carmelo Anthony 27 for the visitors. Shareef Abdur-Rahim had 20 points and 12 rebounds for Portland.

SONICS 94, RAPTORS 74: Ray Allen scored 23 and Rashard Lewis 22 for the hosts. Alvin Williams had 20 for Toronto.

LAKERS: Negotiations to extend coach Phil Jackson's contract have been put on hold.

ROCKETS: McDonald's signed Yao Ming to an endorsement deal.

[Last modified February 13, 2004, 01:45:34]

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