Wall had 23 points and 11 assists as the Wizards won their third
straight game and second over the Chicago Bulls this week with a
96-93 victory on Friday night.
Forward Martell Webster and guard Bradley Beal each had 14 points
for the Wizards (19-19), who reached .500 for the third time this
Washington, which has not posted a winning record since Oct. 31,
2009, shot 50.6 percent from the field in the seesaw affair that
included 12 lead changes and 11 ties.
Center Marcin Gortat added 13 points and forward Nene had 10 points
and two blocks for the Wizards. Nene's final swat came on the final
play as he defended Chicago forward Jimmy Butler's attempted
game-tying 3-pointer with 0.9 seconds remaining. Washington held the
Bulls to one field goal inside the final 5:16.
Our defense got really good down the stretch," Wizards coach Randy
Wittman said. The last play we were all over the place and didn't
let them get a shot off."
Kirk Hinrich scored 18 points and fellow guard D.J. Augustin had 16
for the Bulls (18-20).
Neither team scored after Hinrich's jumper with 2:21 remaining made
the score 96-93. Chicago missed its final four attempts, three by
The final play, which began with 10.4 seconds remaining, was
designed for Mike Dunleavy, who hit a game-tying 3-pointer in
Wednesday's triple-overtime win vs. the Orlando Magic. The Bulls
forward caught the inbounds pass but quickly passed off to Butler.
"On the catch he's got to make a split-second decision," Bulls coach
Tom Thibodeau said. "Is he open to shoot? Or do you try to make the
extra pass. I'd like to see the play again. But I thought they had
good separation to start the play."
Butler found himself one-on-one with Nene on the right above the
"We were going to try Mike," Butler said. "When he threw the ball to
me, I was caught off guard by it. I think everybody was."
The lead changed sides on five straight baskets in the fourth
quarter until Gortat's layup put Washington in front for good at
92-91 with 4:28 remaining. Swingman Trevor Ariza followed with a
jumper and another Gortat layup extended the lead to 96-91.
The Bulls failed in their attempt to reach .500 for the first time
since Nov. 27 when they opened the season 7-7.
The Wizards next chance to post a winning record comes Saturday at
home against the Detroit Pistons.
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"I don't want to think about it really," said Wall, who
entered the league in 2010. "I just want to get over it."
Washington shot better than 50 percent from the field in each of
its three wins, including Wednesday night's win over the Miami
Heat. Forward Trevor Booker made all five of his shots from the
floor in the first half and scored 12 points.
"We knew they were going to come out and fight," Booker said of
the Bulls. "They wanted revenge. We didn't give it to them."
The Wizards shot 52 percent from the field in Monday's 102-88
victory in Chicago.
Neither team ever led by much or for long in the rematch.
Forwards Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson each scored 12 for the
Bulls, who are 6-2 in 2014. Both losses came against Washington.
"The first game at Chicago, they were just more of the eager
team, you could tell," Gibson said. "Tonight it was a dog fight,
two teams going at it. They got the better end of it."
Wall scored 12 points in the first half and his jumper in the
final seconds sent Washington into halftime leading 54-50 before
a crowd of 17,005.
Chicago opened the largest lead for either team with a 14-2 run
spurt in the third quarter. Boozer scored six points in that
stretch and his reverse layup gave the Bulls a 70-62 lead with
5:18 left in the quarter.
Washington erased the deficit in the next two minutes with a
10-0 spurt. Wall had a part in all 10 points, including an
acrobatic, over-the-shoulder basket while falling down.
"That gave us a 3-point play," Wall said of the highlight score.
"We kind of got ourselves going, got ourselves back into the
game and came out with a tough win."
NOTES: Bulls F Mike Dunleavy made his sixth straight start. ...
Wizards G John Wall entered the game leading all Eastern
Conference point guards in assists and double-doubles. ...
Wizards coach Randy Wittman said Glen Rice Jr. (right wrist
surgery) is getting closer to returning after missing a month,
but the rookie swingman has yet to participate in any contact
drills. ...The two teams will play for a third time on April 5
in Washington. ... The third game of the Wizards' five-game
homestand comes Saturday night against the Detroit Pistons. The
Bulls return home to face the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday.
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