Jason Smith received the start in place of an ill Markieff Morris, his first of the season. He came out with relentless energy, hustling after loose rebounds and picking off passes while Bradley Beal lit it up early. Unfortunately, Beal picked up 2 early fouls, which led to a surprise appearance by Kelly Oubre, after being left out of the rotation in recent games. Washington ended the period up 29-23.
The bench unit, including Oubre, Smith, Ian Mahinmi, Brandon Jennings, and Bojan Bogdanovic, came in and gave Coach Brooks great minutes, playing strong defense against the Bulls’ reserves. Smith finished the first half as the game’s leading scorer with 15 points. John Wall put up just 3 points, which came on a buzzer-beating halftime three, but had total control of the offense with 12 assists as the Wizards took a 59-40 lead into halftime.
Wall continued to set up teammates, nearing his career high in assists by the end of the third quarter. But poor defense allowed the Bulls to creep back into the game. Chicago trimmed the lead from 19 down to 12 entering the fourth quarter.
Then, early in the fourth quarter Wall picked up his 13th technical of the season. The tech puts him only three away from earning a one-game suspension.
On the other end, the Bulls continued to cut into Washington’s lead as the Bulls’ reserves returned the favor the Wizards dealt in the first half. A Joffrey Lauvergne layup brought the Bulls within 4, 91-87, with 6:15 left in the game. Beal went into takeover mode for the next stretch, scoring 7 points in a three minutes span to put Washington up 6.
However, Chicago refused to go away. With less than a minute to go, Jimmy Butler nailed a giant three right in the face of Otto Porter to make it a one point game with 39 seconds left.
The Georgetown product redeemed himself on the next possession, grabbing the offensive rebound off a Beal miss and drawing a foul. He nailed both shots, despite taking a hard fall on the foul, and put the Wizards back up by 3 with 18 seconds to go.
Then with the game on the line, Oubre played fantastic defense on Butler, forcing him into an off-balance three that sealed the win for Washington.
John never really found his shooting stroke at only 14 points, but finished with a career-high 20 assists. Jason Smith got his first start of the season and put up 17 points and 7 rebounds. Bradley Beal scored 24 points and the bench combined for 35.
Jimmy Butler and Robin Lopez were the only threats for the Bulls offense, dropping 28 and 25 points respectively on the night.
John Wall dished out 8 dimes in the first quarter. And had all of the team’s assists in the first 10 minutes of action.
He added 4 more to his total in the first to finished the half with 12. By the end of the third quarter, Wall had 18. He finished the night with a career-high 20 dimes. His last may have been his prettiest of the night.
With Keef out, Coach Scott Brooks utilized many different lineups. The starting squad with Smith played well, as the stretch-4 led the Wizards in scoring for most of the contest.
Kelly Oubre played in a lineup with the entire bench unit for the first time in many nights, and showed up spectacularly.