Otto Porter Jr. got in an early word, but Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis had the last laugh as the Wizards took down the Bulls 134-125 in a battle of teams that swapped key players earlier in the week.
Porter scored or assisted on three of the Bulls’ first five baskets as Chicago jumped out to an early 10-2 lead. But it didn’t take long for Washington to get out of their hole. In fact, it took exactly 83 seconds to tie the game back up, thanks to a pair of 3-pointers from Trevor Ariza.
Things stayed tight for most of the rest of the quarter, but Washington put their stamp on the game when the reserves came in, specifically the two former Bulls, and Illinois native Chasson Randle. The unit revved up the pace and baited Chicago into some easy turnovers that allowed Washington to establish a double-digit cushion going into halftime.
Parker got the start in the second half to spell Jeff Green who was dealing with hip tightness. He added a few more dunks to his highlight reel during to maintain Washington’s momentum at first, but with Green out and Tomas Satoransky limited by foul trouble, Scott Brooks had to tweak his rotations and the Wizards fizzled out late in the third quarter.
Chicago cut the lead down to six early in the fourth quarter, but Parker and Portis responded with 11 points over the next 6 minutes to extend the lead again. They also got a lift from Randle, who finished with a career-high 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting as the Wizards picked up their second win in a row.
Jabari Parker took out his revenge on the Bulls’ rims
Parker has looked like a new man since he arrived in Washington and did his best to show Chicago what he can do when he can play his game. He finished 6 dunks, 6 assists and 5 rebounds in an impressive showing against his old team. I could write more, but the highlights say it better than anything I could write.
We’ll see if he can keep it up once the competition stiffens up a bit and he has to settle for more jumpers, but just the fact that he’s playing loose and aggressive is an encouraging sight to see.
Bradley Beal keeps it casual
This game was a great example of how Beal has refined his approach to avoid burnout, especially on the second night of a back-to-back. It was a game that Beal could have easily just taken over because he was clearly the best player on the floor. Instead, he let other guys get involved when they could and then he stepped as needed. It led to a quiet, but remarkably efficient night with a game-high 31 points on 21 shots and just 2 turnovers.
Randle is too much for the Bulls to handle
With all the talk about what the Wizards should do with Satoransky, Bryant, Parker, Portis, Green, and Ariza this summer, it’s easy to forget that Randle will also be a free agent this summer. He’s been solid all season and just turned in the best game of his career. Given how the Wizards have struggled to lock down the back up point guard position through the years, it might behoove them to lock Randle down so they don’t have to scramble to replace him this summer.
Next up: The Wizards head off to the Detroit to face the Pistons on Monday at 7 pm Eastern Time in a key battle for playoff positioning.