CHICAGO -- Guard D.J. Augustin scored 22 points and rookie forward Tony Snell added a career-high 20 points as the Chicago Bulls rolled to a 117-89 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Friday night at the United Center.

The Bulls (29-25) won their fifth straight game and improved to 17-7 since Jan. 1. They are now a season-high four games above .500.

Augustin joined the Bulls in December after being released by Toronto and continued a run of torrid long-range shooting. In the last five games, Augustin has knocked down 16 of 24 shots from 3-point range, including 5 of 7 against the Nuggets.

Snell played heavy minutes because forward Jimmy Butler left the game in the first quarter with a rib contusion and did not return. Butler appeared to take an elbow as he drove into the lane and threw in an acrobatic, backward bank shot. He stayed in the game and drained a 3-pointer but bent over in pain after the shot and headed to the locker room.

The Bulls were never pressed after opening a 32-19 lead in the first quarter. They scored a season-high 69 points in the first half while shooting 54.3 percent from the field.

Forward Taj Gibson added 15 points and 10 rebounds for Chicago, and center Joakim Noah finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Forward Carlos Boozer, forward Mike Dunleavy and guard Kirk Hinrich scored 10 points each.

The 117 points were a season high in a regulation game for the Bulls.

Denver (25-29) lost for the sixth time in the last seven games. The Nuggets are struggling with injuries, having lost center Javale McGee, guard Nate Robinson and forward Danilo Gallinari for the season. Guard Ty Lawson missed his fifth straight game with a broken rib.

Lawson's replacement, Randy Foye, led the Nuggets with 23 points and newcomer Aaron Brooks added 17.

Brooks, acquired from Houston on Thursday for guard Jordan Hamilton, scored nine points in the first quarter despite not going through a practice or shootaround with his new team.

Denver forward Darrell Arthur did not play in the second half after aggravating a left hip strain.

NOTES: Denver G Ty Lawson missed his fifth straight game with a fractured rib and his return to the lineup is uncertain. "He's done some things in practice," coach Brian Shaw said. "He'll make a move and twist the wrong way and he'll feel a sharp pain. So I don't know if he's getting close or he's not. He says he's feeling better." ... Shaw said assistant coach Melvin Hunt visited with new acquisitions Aaron Brooks and Jan Vesely on Friday afternoon to show them some plays. With Lawson out, Brooks is expected to get immediate playing time. "We're just trying to get up and down (the court) anyway, so I think he'll be able to figure it out," Shaw said of Brooks, who arrived from Houston in a trade on Thursday. ... Bulls C Joakim Noah had 45 assists in his previous five games. The last center to do that, according to Stats, LLC, was Vlade Divac in 2004. Divac had 47 assists in five games.