Sunday, April 27, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Wizards 98, Bulls 89
By Nick Friedell
WASHINGTON -- Let's take a quick look at how the Washington Wizards earned a 98-89 win over the Chicago Bulls on Sunday afternoon at the Verizon Center. The Wizards lead the series 3-1.
How it happened: Trevor Ariza had a huge game for the Wizards, going off for 30 points and eight rebounds. John Wall chipped in with 15 points and 10 assists as the Wizards played solid defense and showed plenty of toughness without suspended big man Nene. Taj Gibson was the only bright spot for the Bulls all day -- he scored a career high 32 points and grabbed seven rebounds -- but it wasn't nearly enough for a Bulls team that got outplayed from the start of the game.
What it means: It's rare to see the Bulls get outworked in a game from start to finish -- but that's exactly what happened to them on Sunday. They did not play with the fire that has defined them and they wilted in the second half once the Wizards started applying more pressure. The usually stellar defense that has propelled them in the Tom Thibodeau era was missing, and the offense, which has been nonexistent at times this year, never really appeared. It was a missed opportunity for a team that felt confident it could tie up the series without Nene on the floor. The Bulls now face the uphill battle of trying to win three straight games against a team that has played better and tougher than them throughout the series. It will be a tall task for Thibodeau's bunch given how tough it is for them to score points.
Hits: Gibson's performance, on 13-for-16 shooting from the field.
Misses: Kirk Hinrich and D.J. Augustin were a combined 6-for-22 from the field. Also, the Wizards outscored the Bulls 16-2 on fast-break points.
Stat of the night: Take out Gibson's shooting stats and the Bulls were just 22-for-61 from the field, for 36 percent.
What's next: Game 5 is Tuesday night at the United Center.