Washington was the more aggressive team out of the gate. Chicago’s defense was allowing looks inside, and the Wizards were the ones playing the more efficient brand of basketball. That script would eventually flip, as Chicago finished the period ahead 25-24, but Washington would never stray too far from its game plan.
Entering halftime, the Wizards were on a roll. They closed out the second quarter on a 15-4 run, and that momentum carried forward into the third. They never stopped attacking the paint, and they managed to stretch that run to 25-6 just three minutes into the second half.
The bigger problem, however, was that the Bulls simply couldn’t put the ball in the basket. They were outscored 23-11 in the third quarter, and they dug themselves into an 18-point hole by the time the fourth period began.
A nice boost of energy from the second unit made you feel as if Chicago had a chance with the final 12 minutes winding down, but it proved to be too little, too late. A better defensive quarter couldn’t make up for an extreme lack of scoring, and the team was never able to recover.
Chicago had been great on the road as of late, but Washington proved that it can be tough at home with John Wall back in the lineup. Something had to give, and unfortunately for the Bulls, home-court advantage took over in this one.