The Wizards waited until the 8 minute mark of the fourth quarter to dig in and play hard but ultimately fell up short 97-92 to the depleted Bulls. The Bulls had three players who scored over 20 points but it was Nikola Mirotic who led the way with a game high 23 points.
Once again, the Wizards started this game shooting an ice cold 1-9 from the field. Their only made bucket was on a put back in close from Marcin Gortat during that stretch. Even though the jump shots weren’t falling, the team was playing very well on the defensive end.
John Wall was able to get out in transition early and that was the only reason that the Wizards were able to hang around in the first quarter. The bigs had issues staying on the court. Both Nene and Drew Gooden had issues staying in front of the Chicago big men and both picked up two fouls in the quarter each. Even though the Wizards only played so-so in the quarter, it could have been a lot worse as they only trailed by two, 24-22.
The Wizards ran a nice play for Otto Porter to get the second quarter started and he knocked home a three from the baseline. After a minor stall, both teams stopped playing defense and continued to trade buckets. Aaron Brooks went on a personal 7-0 run and the Bulls took a solid hold on the lead. Ramon Sessions tried to guard him but Brooks was way too quick.
Once again, after another ho-hum performance from the Wizards, they only found themselves down seven at halftime.
Paul Pierce got in a nice rhythm and hit two three pointers to get the third quarter started. Pierce shot a very nice 4-6 from long distance tonight. Frustration continued to set in for Nene as he picked up his fourth foul at the 9:27 mark and was forced to go back to the bench.
The Wizards kept making pushes at the Bulls lead but the Bulls always had an answer. Pau Gasol consistently hit open jump shots as it looked like the Wizards were willing to give that up. The Wizards started missing jump shots down the stretch in the third and the Bulls were able to stretch the lead out to 12.
John Wall and the team looked gassed to start the fourth quarter. The Bulls were getting all of the 50/50 balls and the Wizards didn’t score their first point of the quarter until the 9 minute mark on a three by Pierce. That seemed to wake this team up.
With 8:20 to play, Joakim Noah went up for a layup and Nene fouled him hard and picked up a flagrant foul. Pierce starting yapping at the refs and he got hit with a technical. Shortly thereafter, Nene committed a frustration foul and was disqualified from the game without making much of an impact at all.
Midway through the fourth, Wall hit a layup to cut the lead to six and you thought the Wizards maybe had one push left in them. Aaron Brooks answered on the other end knocking down a three pointer or utilizing the pick and roll game with Pau Gasol to get easy drives to the hole.
The Wizards never gave up though. Otto Porter hit a floater at the 1:49 mark to cut the Bulls lead to 3. Some tough defense got the Wizards the ball back with an opportunity to cut the lead to one or tie the game. Bradley Beal who was cold all game missed an open three pointer and that was that. Wizards lose 97-92. This here perfectly sums up the past two months for this team.