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NBA -- Bulls hit a Wall in 90-86 loss


PhilBoxing.com



John Wall.
CHICAGO -- Point guard John Wall dropped 27 points, collected eight rebounds and dished nine assists as the Washington Wizards beat the Chicago Bulls, 90-86, Tuesday night at the Verizon Center.

On a night the Bulls needed a win to keep pace with the 5th seeded Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference, all they could conjure was a good effort that was not enough.

Wall shot eight of 17 from the field and 11-for-13 from the free throw line as the Wizards won two in a row and eight straight at home. AJ Price scored 13 of the bench while Trevor Ariza, Nene and Emeka Okafor each scored 10 points, with Okafor adding nine rebounds.

“We have a lot of pride in ourselves. We want to close the season strong. This is the most wins I’ve had since I’ve been here. It feels great,” Wall told reporters.

Bulls who average a league worst 92 points a game, were held to 37 in the second half. Again undermanned, the Bulls were without Derrick Rose (left knee), Marco Belinelli (abdominal strain), Joakim Noah (right foot) and Richard Hamilton (lower back).

Carlos Boozer led the Bulls with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Nate Robinson added 17 while Luol Deng and Jimmy Butler had 13 apiece. Nazr Mohammad contributed 12 points and 12 rebounds in the loss, Chicago’s second in three games.

Bulls started the game well, opening with an early 10-2 lead and heading into the second quarter with a 24-18 advantage. Wizards began the second period with a Price 3-pointer, but it was the closest the Wizards would come the rest of the half. Late in the half, a pair of free-throws by Wall would cut the halftime lead 49-42 Bulls.

In the third stanza, Wall scored 12 points and the Wizards shot 50 percent from the field, including nine of 10 from the charity line.

A Boozer lay-up with 7:13 left to play in the fourth gave Chicago a 73-71 bubble. Washington came back with an Ariza jumper and Price drilled a three on the next possession for the Wizards lead.

Butler and Robinson each missed a pair of crucial free throws down the stretch, but a put-back by Mohammad locked up the score at 86-86 with 56 seconds left to play and two Ariza free throws sealed the win.

Gibson suffered an injury to the same left knee he previously injured. He is expected to get an MRI on Wednesday and noted that it felt similar to when he sprained his MCL a few weeks ago.

The Bulls square off against the Booklyn Nets in a game that is crucial for both teams in determining playoff positioning in the East. Chicago is currently two games behind the Nets for the 4th seed and one game behind the Atlanta Hawks for the 5th seed. (FG)


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Fidel Garcia.


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