Instant analysis: Wizards 90, Bulls 86

Instant analysis: Wizards 90, Bulls 86
April 2, 2013, 8:45 pm
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Wiz-Bulls highlights

The return of PF Nene helped the Wizards (28-46) inside, but the clutch shooting of backup PG A.J. Price did the trick as they won their eighth consecutive game at Verizon Center.

Player of the game: PG John Wall had a game-high 27 points on 8-for-17 shooting, nine assists, eight rebounds, three blocks and only one turnover. It was Wall's second game in a row with just one giveaway. 

The rundown: The Wizards played behind throughout the first quarter, falling behind 10-2 with C Nazr Mohammed and PF Carlos Boozer doing all the scoring. After a timeout, Wall led them back with eight quick points to cut the deficit to 18-16.  Chicago was able to stretch the lead to 32-25 on a turnover by Kevin Seraphin that led to a run-out dunk by SG Jimmy Butler. Wall and Nene returned, however, to lead the charge back as they combined for 22 points by halftime. Chicago led 49-42 at the break. Wall scored 13 in the third, feeding C Emeka Okafor for a jump shot to give Washington a 65-64 lead at 3:38. Both teams went without a field goal for more than four minutes of the final quarter, but Price buried a pair of three-pointers to break the spell and SF Trevor Ariza made one as well. Price's fadeaway jump shot broke an 84-84 tie at 1:41 and Ariza's two free throws with eight seconds left set the final margin. 

Turning point: Butler and PG Nate Robinson went 0-for-4 from the foul line late in the fourth quarter. Butler missed a pair with the Bulls trailing 84-82 at 2:57. Robinson missed with his team behind 86-84 at 1:27. 

Back in action: Nene (sore right knee) played for the first time since March 23, getting 10 points on 5-for-11 shooting and seven rebounds, four assists and a block in 28 minutes. His assist to Okafor for a dunk gave the Wizards the winning basket with 45.9 seconds left.  SG Bradley Beal (left ankle sprain) came off the bench for the second game in a row, but he wasn't nearly as effective as he was in scoring 24 points to beat the Raptors on Sunday. He appeared a step slow and finished eight points on 3-for-11 shooting. 

Emergency response: Both teams were cold to start the fourth quarter, failing to score a field goal until 7:50. But backup Price hit two wide-open three-pointers in less than a minute to give Washington a cushion at 79-75. PG Kirk Hinrich responded with a three, but Ariza countered for Washington with a long-range bomb, 82-78.

Chase down: Wall has made the chase-down block one of his signature plays. After a scramble for a loose ball, the Bulls ignited a fast break and an easy bucket seemed inevitable.  F Luol Deng, however, had his shot swatted from behind as Wall perfectly timed it from behind at 3:50 of the second quarter. There were just three blocked shots in the game by halftime, and Wall had two of them.

Who’s next:  Wednesday at Toronto Raptors, 7 p.m. ET on CSN.  The Raptors (27-47) lost to the Detroit Pistons  108-98 on Sunday. C Greg Monroe, from Georgetown, had a team-high 24 points on 10-for-18 shooting.