The Chicago Bulls, who rank 25th in three-point shooting, knocked down 18 shots from deep as the Bulls blew out the Wizards 113-94 in the latest #SoWizards loss of the season on Sunday afternoon. Lauri Markkanen, who knocked down five 3-pointers, led the Bulls with 23 points and Bobby Portis added 18 to help the Bulls avoid the season sweep against the Wizards.
Otto Porter scored a team-high 17 points for the Wizards and Mike Scott added 14 points off the bench, but don’t let the stat sheet fool you, the Wizards didn’t get much help from anyone else.
Washington fell behind quickly as Chicago went 8-for-11 on threes in the first quarter to take a 36-21 lead. Washington was able to claw their way back in the game in the second quarter with solid bench play. The reserves combined for 20 points in the opening half and trimmed the deficit to four, 45-41 midway through the quarter.
Unfortunately for the Wizards, careless play from the starters carried over into the second half and the game got out of hand pretty quickly in the third quarter. When it was all said and done, the Wizards gave up 113 points on 52.4 percent shooting from the field and 52.9 percent shooting from deep. It’s Chicago’s fifth-best shooting performance of the season and tied for their best performance of the season from long range.
Washington can’t overcome Chicago’s blazing hot first-half shooting
Chicago was on fire to start this one.
Nearly everything that Bobby Portis, Lauri Markkanen, and Justin Holiday threw up went in as the trio combined for 40 points in the first half including a 9-for-11 performance from three-point range. Chicago rode poor Washington defense combined with red-hot shooting as the Bulls used a 14-0 run in the first quarter to take a 36-21 lead.
The hot shooting carried over into the second quarter as they knocked down 10 of their first 14 shots to start the period and increase their lead after the Washington reserves trimmed it down to four.
Washington dug themselves into too big of a hole and was never ever to come back in this one as they gave up 11 threes and 68 points on 64 percent shooting to a lottery-bound Bulls team in the first half.
Aside from Otto Porter, the starters were awful today
You may look at the box score and think some of the starters not named Otto Porter played OK in this one - but don’t let the numbers fool you. Yes, Bradley Beal and Marcin Gortat scored in double-figures this afternoon, however, there was no fight and energy from the starting five today.
Chicago was running a clinic on how to burn your opposition with backdoor cuts as Washington fell asleep defensively too many times. The starters were a step slow in their closeouts resulting in open looks for Chicago. They also provided no resistance in the paint, which allowed the Bulls to get shots from close in or kick the ball out to open shooters on the perimeter.
Outside of Porter, the starters looked disinterested in this game. But, we’ve seen this movie before – many times.
On the bright side, Washington only has two games left against teams with losing records (Atlanta, at Orlando).
Kelly Oubre’s shooting struggles continue
If it isn’t a layup or dunk, Kelly Oubre isn’t making it. His shooting struggles continued once again as he was a horrid 2-for-8 from the field and missed all three of his 3-point attempts. He curled off a screen for a nice drive to the hole for his first basket of the game and it looked like that might get him going. But then he started taking shots outside of the painted area, and that’s when things went sour.
He missed every shot that wasn’t a layup or dunk and has made just one of his last 26 3-point attempts. Washington needs Oubre to break out of this slump in the worst way.
- You know how the rule goes, “If Jason Smith throws down a thunderous jam, the Wizards are a lock to win.” Well, rules are meant to be broken:
- Speaking of Jason Smith, coach Brooks opted to play Smith over Ian Mahinmi at the backup center position. It’s Mahinmi’s second DNP-CD of the season.
- With the loss, the Wizards are now 4 games behind the Pacers for fifth place, which essentially locks them into the sixth, seventh, or eight seed.
- John Wall did not play in this one as a precaution after making his return on Saturday.
Next up: The Wizards are heading to Texas to face the top-ranked team in the West, the Houston Rockets, on Tuesday at 8 p.m.