Washington Wizards beat Chicago Bulls despite injuries

By Brian Hedger, The Sports Xchange   |   Jan. 12, 2016 at 12:35 AM
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CHICAGO -- Despite nursing multiple injuries, the Washington Wizards still had enough to cruise by the Chicago Bulls 114-100 on Monday night at the United Center.

The Wizards (17-19) were missing three players, including starting center Marcin Gortat (left knee), but they won their second straight game by handing the Bulls (22-14) their second loss in a row.

Washington got points from 10 players, including seven who finished in double-figure scoring. Point guard John Wall led them all with 17 points and 10 assists.

"I just think we match up against this team very well," Wall said. "Sometimes it goes their way when they come to our house, and we come here and we've been winning lately."

The Wizards have won their past two games in Chicago dating to last season, when they and the Bulls split their four-game season series.

Wall played a key role again, but he wasn't alone. Guard Garrett Temple, forward Otto Porter and center Nene scored 14 points apiece, while reserves Ramon Sessions (16 points), Gary Neal (11 points) and Drew Gooden (10 points and 12 rebounds) led a strong surge from the Washington bench.

The Wizards' reserves outscored Chicago's 47-32.

"(Gooden) was really good for us off the bench tonight," Washington coach Randy Wittman said. "We had seven guys in double figures and two more with eight (points). That tells me we didn't care who scored. We played as a team."

Guard Derrick Rose led Chicago with 23 points, while Bulls shooting guard Jimmy Butler added 19 points and center Pau Gasol had 15 points and 10 rebounds.

The Bulls lost consecutive games for the first time since dropping three in a row Dec. 18-21.

"Flat start," Gasol said, referring to the Wizards never trailing in the first quarter and leading 62-48 at the half. "They were more aggressive than we were. Defensively, things are not the way things need to be. We need to be better, (with) more physicality on the defensive end."

Trailing 83-74 to start the fourth, the Bulls cut the Wizards' lead to four points twice early in the quarter. Forward Doug McDermott's four-point play pulled Chicago to within 89-85 with 9:34 left, but Washington regrouped.

The Wizards blitzed the Bulls in the next 4:58, going on an 18-4 run to build a 107-89 lead and cruise to the win. Wall had seven points in the run, which also included baskets by Temple, Nene and Sessions.

"We dug ourselves another hole, found a way out and cut it to four," Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. "We had a chance to cut it to two and missed a couple of easy ones. It takes some energy to climb out of that hole. That is an issue. We have to find a way to get off to a better start."

Nene missed the Wizards' previous game and was listed as questionable with a strained right triceps. He played 19:35, and was effective.

NOTES: Bulls F/C Joakim Noah returned to action Monday against the Wizards after missing nine games with a left shoulder sprain. He didn't score and had nine rebounds. ... F Mike Dunleavy (back) missed his 36th game for the Bulls. Dunleavy, who had preseason back surgery, has yet to play this season. ... The Wizards played without G/F Alan Anderson (left ankle surgery), G Bradley Beal (sore right leg), F Kris Humphries (sore right knee) and C Marcin Gortat (sore left knee). ... F Nene (strained right triceps) suited up for the Wizards, but his minutes were limited. ... Washington C/F DeJuan Blair (sore right knee) and F Drew Gooden (right calf strain) each were questionable, but were active. ... Chicago G Derrick Rose scored 23 points to pass Ben Gordon (7,372 points) for 10th in all-time Bulls scoring. ... Chicago is starting a stretch of four games in five days, so coach Fred Hoiberg said players such as Rose and F/C Pau Gasol might rest a game.

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