CHICAGO -- For the second time since the All-Star break, when the Xs and Os on the court were heavily in favor of the Wizards, they failed to deliver to gain some real traction in the East playoff race.
John Wall and Bradley Beal, who shot 8 of 27 in a win vs. the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday, never could get it going in this one as they couldn't take advantage of the wounded Chicago Bulls in a 109-104 loss at United Center.
The Bulls (30-26) were playing without Derrick Rose (right knee soreness), Jimmy Butler (left knee strain) and Pau Gasol almost a scratch because of illness. They still had seven players score in double figures led by Taj Gibson (17 points), E'Twaun Moore (17), Tony Snell (16), Mike Dunleavy (14), Doug McDermott (14), Aaron Brooks (11) and Gasol (10, 15 rebounds).
Last weekend in a road game vs. the Miami Heat, who were without Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh over the weekend, the Wizards were blown out there, too.
They had four players score in double figures led by Bradley Beal (19 points) and Garrett Temple (18). Ramon Sessions (16) was effective off the bench but John Wall (16 points, seven assists) is now 16 of 49 shooting in his last three games.
The Wizards (26-30) will be off Thursday and play at the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday.
- The Bulls aren't a good shooting team (25th in NBA in accuracy) but they were able to blow open a close contest the third quarter with three consecutive field goals on layups, and a few three-pointers after that from Dunleavy and Snell to get up by a double-digit deficit. They made 13 of 24 shots to raise their overall shooting accuracy for the game to 50%.
- Finally, Alan Anderson (nine points) made his first appearance of the season as he played 16 minutes in the first half. He went straight at McDermott in an isolation, getting to the rim for the basket and the foul. The three-point play produced his first points of the season. McDermott energized the home crowd by blowing past Wall on the baseline to dunk over Morris but Anderson's first three-point shot from the corner immediately afterwards restored order briefly.
- The Bulls took advantage of Gibson, who was too big for Dudley to contain in the paint. Gibson had 11 points in the second quarter alone, five of them coming on foul shots from mostly and-ones. Markieff Morris (five points, 10 rebounds) was a better answer as Gibson was a non-factor in the fourth but it was too late. Otto Porter was a non-factor and only played 17 minutes (two points). He only played four minutes in the second half.
- Wall entered shooting 10 of his last 34 shots. The Wizards were able to get by with him and Beal combining to shoot 8-for-27 Tuesday in a 20-point win over the New Orleans Pelicans. They combined to shoot 13 of 24 which looks better on paper than it actually was. Through the first three quarters, they combined to shoot 9 of 24.
- The edge the Wizards began the game with was gone by late in the second quarter. They had a 15-9 lead in rebounding. They ended the game at a deficit 50-42. Morris was the leading rebounder, off the bench, in 29 minutes.