It’s Tuesday April 2. 2013 and tonight the Chicago Bulls took on the Washington Wizards for the third time this seasons. During the first meeting between the two teams back on Dec. 29. 2012, the Bulls defeated the Wizards 87-77 on their home court. The Wizards would than get revenge against the Bulls, winning 86-73 in Washington.
The first half of the game went swell for the Bulls. Carlos Boozer led the squad in all three categories, points, assist and rebounds, as he managed to score 11 points, six boards and dish out four assist. Boozer as well shot 55% from the field during the first half, scoring five-of-nine points and making his only free throw thus far, while fouled by by Nene therefore completing the AND-1 successfully.
While Boozer had a great half, other Bulls also played great. Jimmy Butler was one of the few off to a good game as he scored nine points, two of which came from three-point range. From the field he made three shots and eight attempts. As for beyond the arch, he attempted five shots.
Nate Robinson and Luol Deng also helped the team as they both scored eight points each, shooting a combined 50% from the field.
At the half, Chicago was doing well from the field shooting 47%. They however needed to improve from the three-point area as they only shot a low 21% from there. Another statistic to add was that before half-time Chicago miraculously only commit one turnover, while the Wizards had four.
While the team was playing great, the same can’t be said about how they felt. When Taj Gibson fouled Nene, he felt pain in the same knee that was injured before. It appears he re-injured his MCL. Gibson went off to the locker room in the second quarter while Luol Deng checked in for him to play for the remaining minutes of the second quarter.
Per Bulls PR, Taj Gibson is questionable to return with a left knee injury.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) April 3, 2013
Same knee he hurt before (MCL), for anybody who's wondering.
— Aggrey Sam (@CSNBullsInsider) April 3, 2013
The second half didn’t go as well as the first did. Carlos Boozer still knock down shots as he opened the third quarter with a jumper. The Bulls however would go on to commit more turnovers as Jimmy Butler stepped out of bounds. Luol Deng kept the Bulls in the game for a while as he clashed the boards getting every rebound he could, boxing out players.
Kirk Hinrich, Boozer and Nazr Mohammed found them selves in foul trouble giving the Wizards a chance to take the lead, successfully making their free throws.
Daequon Cook received some playing time as Boozer kept fouling. For a while the Bulls couldn’t get any open looks as the Wizards came back into this game receiving contributions from Trevor Airza, Emeka Okafor and John Wall. At the end of the third, Washington outscored the Bulls 28-20.
The fourth quarter is where it all went wrong. Luol Deng opened this quarter with a turnover, his second, losing the ball to Bradley Beal. Jimmy Butler also missed his first jumper in this quarter and Deng missed his first three-point attempt, again in his quarter.
The Bulls kept fouling again and again as Robinson and Boozer unintentionally committed fouls. The good news however was that Boozer, Cook and Mohammed still kept fighting, grabbing every open look miss for free rebounds.
A.J. Price however knocked down the dagger trey bring the Wizards to their first lead at 76-73. Nate Robinson and Hinrich fortunately, somehow found spark for three-point range as they nailed a couple open looks here and there. Nonetheless, Ariza answered back hitting another three as the Wizards eventually regained.
With Taj Gibson in the locker room, Kirk Hinrich would go on to join him as he received not one, but two technical fouls arguing over who knows what. He went on to join Noah, Gibson, Belinelli, Hamilton and Rose, all of whom were inactive.
During the last seconds of the game, Mohammed kept fighting, desperately obtaining rebounds, dunking and shooting jumpers but it ultimately wasn’t enough as the Bulls lost to the Wizards for the second time this season, to a final score 90-86.
At the end of the game, Chicago shot 39% from the field, 69% from the free throw line and 22% from three-point range. Collectively, they had 21 assists, 45 rebounds and seven turnovers.
The Bulls would get their chance at revenge as they play against the Wizards again this month for the last time on April 17. In the meantime, they will travel to Brooklyn and face off against the Nets on Thus. in a game that would be nationally televised on TNT and TSN.