WASHINGTON -- Sometimes you wonder if these Wizards just like making it hard on themselves.
Coming off a fantastic win over the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Friday night, Washington had a chance to get another big win Saturday at home against the Bulls. Instead, the team came out completely flat, had its worst first half of the season and couldn't rally in a 96-78 loss.
This game quickly got out of hand in the first 24 minutes. The Bulls led 28-16 after one quarter, and while things seemed ugly then, folks at Verizon Center had no idea what they'd be in store for. The Wizards would score just 10 more points in the first half, eventually trailing by 26 at halftime.
Even after getting 35 points in the third quarter, John Wall and his teammates simply couldn't salvage this game. The Bulls never led by fewer than 11 points in the second half, eventually pouring it on in the fourth quarter as fans began heading for the exits. There was a steady flow of departing fans over the final few minutes of the game.
Ignoring the third quarter, this was a disaster for Washington. The team shot 3-of-16 from three-point range and 40 percent overall, got wrecked on the boards and looked completely flat once Chicago punched back early in the fourth. This may have been the second game of a back-to-back, but you can't come out playing like this against a Tom Thibodeau-coached team.
Wall led the Wizards with 20 points on 8-of-17 shooting plus six assists. On Polish Heritage Night, the league's only Polish player, Marcin Gortat, added 19 points and eight rebounds.
The Bulls shot 9-of-23 from beyond the arc and hit 44 percent of their shots from the field. D.J. Augustin came off the bench to lead with 25 points, the majority coming from an impressive 6-of-11 effort on threes. Joakim Noah also had 21 points, 12 rebounds and three assists in the win.
Washington drops to 40-37 this season, still sixth in the Eastern Conference. The Bobcats also play tonight and could cut the Wizards' lead on the No. 6 seed to a game with a victory of their own.