The best news about this game was that Joakim Noah returned to the court after being out since Dec. 21st due to a shoulder injury.
The bad news is the Chicago Bulls got man-handled by a Washington Wizards team that missed key players. The reserves played great and seven Wizards scored in double figures to put away Chicago on its home-court, 114-100. The Wizards played without Marcin Gortat, Kris Humphries, and Bradley Beal. Ramon Sessions had a fine game and others took up the slack to fend off the Bulls.
John Wall, the lightning quick guard, scored 17 points and had 10 assists to pace the Wizards. At one point, Washington led by 18 points. Clearly, the Bulls were not ready for this game. Now, the schedule gets tougher as the team goes on the road starting tomorrow night in Milwaukee and will play 12 of its next 15 games away from the United Center.
Derrick Rose scored 23 points. Jimmy Butler had 19 points and 7 assists, and Pau Gasol had another double-double, 15 points and 10 assists. Noah returned to the lineup and had 9 rebounds but no points in 19 minutes of play. Aaron Brooks scored 10 points.
Washington shot 48.5 per cent while Chicago only hit 42% from the floor. The Bulls also had 15 turnovers which hurt their cause.
Chicago trailed by 4 points in the fourth quarter, but the Wiz went on a run to pull away and the issue was settled, no dramatics in this game. The Bulls gave up 62 points in the first half, and that is part of the story. Poor defense and inconsistent shooting leads to losses.
Chicago plays Milwaukee in the second game of a back-to-back Tuesday evening.