Two wins in a row -- and two season series clinched against East foes competing for a playoff spot in their back pockets -- the Wizards are moving back in the right direction after Wednesday's 117-96 victory over the Chicago Bulls at Verizon Center in front of an announced crowd of 19,556
John Wall earned his third triple-double of the season (29 points, 12 assists, 10 rebounds) in leading the Wizards from behind in the second quarter to leading the rest of the way, followed by Bradley Beal (20 points, seven rebounds), Garrett Temple (15 points, six rebounds, four assists), Otto Porter (14 points, five rebounds), Nene (12 points) and Markieff Morris (11 points, six rebounds).
The 10th-place Wizards (32-35) are now 1.5 games behind the Bulls (33-33) and Detroit Pistons (34-34), who lost to the Atlanta Hawks. The Wizards routed the Pistons by 43 points earlier in the week and have won all three of their meetings.
They're 2-1 vs. Chicago to end that series, avenging a 109-104 loss on Feb. 24 that was followed by a four-game winning streak and then a five-game losing streak.
Derrick Rose (16 points) only scored two points after halftime. The Wizards trailed 43-38 in the second quarter but went into the break ahead 63-52 and never looked back.
- Nene made the start with Marcin Gortat (nine points, six rebounds) not being ready because of lower back pain. He immediately put Taj Gibson (three points) and Bobby Portis (eight points) in foul trouble. None of them was strong enough to contend with him the low post which is why he went to the foul line eight times in the first half alone. The off-ball movement by Porter and Beal created the passing lanes. Nene only was credited with one assist in the first half but easily had a hand in their first five field goals with his reading of the floor. Gortat started at center to begin the third quarter. Nene only had to play eight minutes after halftime.
- Though the Wizards made mistakes with seven third-quarter giveaways, they didn't give up on plays and made the Bulls feel their presence. Beal was hit with a flagrant foul at 8:25 to stop an easy basket from Butler and Wall put a hard foul on him, too, to prevent a layup though it was ruled a common foul.
- The cheap fouls are ruining the momentum for Morris. He picked up his fifth foul at 9:24 going over the back for an offensive rebound in the fourth quarter. He was able to take advantage of his matchup with Doug McDermott (20 points) early but he only played two minutes in the second quarter because of three fouls then. Morris' activity and quickness is needed at his position. He was able to save a missed shot from Beal, toss it back inbounds while falling down and that led to a second-chance three for Beal.
- Temple isn't always going to shoot with this kind of efficiency, making all five of his three-point shots in the first half off the bench to get the Wizards out to as much as a 19-point lead. He was left alone on all of them. Temple isn't going to make shots at this rate consistently but occasionally there'll be games like this. If he's wide open and can make 40% of those, the Wizards will take that.
- After playing Marcus Thornton (three points) heavy minutes when he joined the roster as a free agent during the last road trip, his minutes have been dialed back. He played seven minutes. He was on the court for just six vs. Detroit. Thornton had played 20 and 19 minutes in losses at the Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets.