Count another game in the loss column. The Washington Wizards lost 115-107 to the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night. They are now 0-4 in a game where they committed 19 turnovers and just couldn’t get it going from the three-point line, shooting 27 percent overall from long range.
On the night when he played his 549th game for the Wizads and passed Jeff Malone for ninth in games played for the franchise, Bradley Beal came out firing with a 23-foot three, although he would not make another. Despite shooting 1–of-5 from deep, Beal finished with a game-high 29 points, four rebounds and three assists. His new backcourt partner, Russell Westbrook, notched his third-consecutive triple-double, putting up 21 points, 15 boards and 11 helpers. Even with their two stars cooking, the Wizards lost anyway.
A respectable first quarter saw Beal get going early, while Deni Avdija continued to demonstrate his defensive sharpness; Avdija finished his third NBA game with nine points (all of which were threes), four assists and two steals. After consecutive Chicago buckets, Wizards Coach Scott Brooks took a strategic timeout, which seemed to energize the team — Davis Bertans made a quick three but missed an open deep-shot as the buzzer sounded.
With Westbrook hitting two pull-up jumpers and a providing slick dish to Ish Smith at the beginning of the second quarter, Chicago Coach Billy Donovan called an early timeout, which effectively ended the momentum Washington was building. While both teams went cold throughout the second, Smith (four points) made the play of the half when he successfully defended a three-on-one.
The sloppiness of the second was epitomized by a failure to put up a shot at end the half, as Troy Brown Junior didn’t realize time was expiring. Poor shooting — the Wizards finished 4–22 from three — on both sides of the court saw the game score locked at 52–46.
A 4–0 Washington run to start the third was characterized by bounce and energy. Despite a strong start, the Wizards failed to maintain that intensity throughout the quarter. Thomas Bryant (13 points and six rebounds) shot only his second and third free-throw attempts of the season, missing both.
The third would not improve for the Wizards, as Beal and Westbrook collided, sending Beal off the floor and into concussion protocol — he would later return to the game, thankfully. With Chicago’s two best players — Zach LaVine (23 points) and Coby White (18) — taking over, the Wizards ended the third down 83–73.
As the contest wore on, and the Wizards kept missing threes, the life of the game slowly seeped onto the court at Capital One Arena. However, with Bertans hitting back-to-back threes, Avdija draining one from downtown and Westbrook finally knocking down a trey (his first of the season), the Wizards managed to cut the deficit to nine points. Even with four threes near the end of the game, the Wizards still shot an abysmal 10-of-37 from long range.
The Wizards are back in action against the Bulls on Thursday at home. Tipoff is at 5 p.m. ET.