Wednesday, April 3, 2013

No Bull: Wizards Run Past Chicago

As Chicago continues to wait anxiously on the return of star point guard Derrick Rose, the Bulls have managed to stay relevant, sitting in 6th place in the Eastern Conference. Maybe their greatest achievement of the season was breaking the Miami Heat's 27 game winning streak in front of a sold out United Center. Rose's long-anticipated comeback remains somewhat shrouded in mystery. Are the Bulls simply saving him for the post-season, or is there a chance that Chicago plans on saving him for a different season all-together, one in which the Bulls have a better supporting cast? These questions will be answered come back playoff time, but tonight the Bulls made their final trip of the season to the Verizon Center to take on the Washington Wizards, a team that sat just three games back of 9th place in the Eastern Conference, an amazing feat considering that they had started the season just 5-28.

In the last meeting between the two clubs on January 26th, Washington had defended its home court with a decisive 86-73 victory. Nene led the Wizards ins scoring on that night with 16 points.

The Bulls were not only missing Rose. Joakim Noah, Marco Belinelli, and Richard Hamilton all sat out with their respective ailments.

Without the presence of Noah, Washington was able to out-rebound Chicago 51-45. John Wall's 27 points, 9 assists, and 8 rebounds helped the Wizards to a 90-86 victory in front of a crowd of 17,319 that must have been made up of at least 50 percent Bulls fans. The game was tied at 86 with under a minute to play, but Emeka Okafor got the go-ahead bucket on a dunk that was set up by a beautiful feed from Nene with 45.7 seconds remaining.

Wizards guard Bradley Beal is defended by Bulls forward Luol Deng
Beal tries to put the ball through the legs of Deng
Bulls guard Nate Robinson looks for a foul call
Wizards forward Kevin Seraphin shoots over Bulls center Nazr Mohammed
Wizards forward Trevor Booker drives on Bulls forward Carlos Boozer
Bradley Beal is defended by Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich
Wizards guard John Wall is defended by Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich
Carlos Boozer boxes out Kevin Seraphin
Bulls guard Daequan Cook leaps for the rebound
Wizards center Emeka Okafor takes the ball to the basket
Hinrich was called for a technical foul late the game by referee Joey Crawford
Hinrich picked up one more technical, and was sent to an early shower
Bulls forward Luol Deng and Wizards forward Trevor Ariza chase after the loose ball
Wizards forward Nene and Bulls forward Jimmy Butler lunge for the loose ball
Nazr Mohammed and Carlos Boozer box out Emeka Okafor
Luol Deng gets up for the rebound
Deng pulls down the board
Wizards guard A.J. Price drives around Nate Robinson
A.J. Price lines up the baseline jumper
John Wall shoots over Jimmy Butler
John Wall drives around Jimmy Butler
John Wall drives on Jimmy Butler and Carlos Boozer
Wall flicks the ball up at the rim over the Chicago defenders
Wall falls backwards, as Butler tries to block the shot attempt
Nene takes it up against  Nazr Mohammed
Chicago was led by Carlos Boozer with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Nate Robinson added 17 points off the bench, despite going only 1-7 from downtown. Kirk Hinrich was ejected with 3:19 left in the game, picking up two technical fouls for arguing an offensive interference call against Nazr Mohammed.

The Wizards will take off for Toronto to take on the Raptors tomorrow night at the Air Canada Centre.