The Washington Wizards are on a win-streak, baby! They survived an absolute nail-biter against the Chicago Bulls, 102-100.
Right out of the gate, you could tell that the Bulls would be a much greater challenge than the Indiana Pacers from the season opener. Washington started off aggressive, connecting on their first five shots and taking a 13-8 lead early. The ball movement was crisp, with 6 of the first 8 makes coming off an assist as seven different Wizards got on the scoring column.
But the Bulls weren’t rolling over. The trio of DeMar DeRozan, Ayo Dosunmu, and Nikola Vucevic tallied 25 of their 30 points to give Chicago a four-point lead at the end of the first.
The Hachimura-Barton-Wright-Gafford-Gill quintet was productive once again in their four minutes to start the second, outscoring the Bulls by three before any starters came back.
That gave Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis the runway to take off for a 12-0 run, combining for 27 points between them in the first half. Washington entered halftime holding a 56-50 lead, but not before KP had himself a heavyweight highlight, crossing up Nikola Vucevic for a long-range bomb:
Kristaps Porzingis just BROKE Vucevic pic.twitter.com/jTAL6KbM77— Slightly Biased (@BiasedSlightly) October 22, 2022
In very un-Wizardian fashion, the home team started off blazing hot out of the break with a 9-0 run thanks to three straight triples (!!?) and managed to extend the lead to 17. The Bulls battled back as DeMar DeRozan took over, going on a 12-2 run of their own and cutting the Wizards lead to three, 77-74.
The fourth quarter was a true litmus test, as the Bulls simply would not let Washington pull away. DeMar DeRozan, as he is wont to do, came up massive down the stretch with key buckets, including a critical steal off a sloppy Beal pass that led to an uncontested dunk, tying the game at 100 with just over 30 seconds to play.
But Bradley Beal earned his keep in the fourth and redeemed himself, scoring 11 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter - none bigger than his last two:
BRADLEY BEAL GAME-WINNER pic.twitter.com/6rs2o7Ywxu— NBA TV (@NBATV) October 22, 2022
The Wizards are undefeated, folks. They get a chance to make it a three-game streak against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night.