Bulls Run Past Wiz, 98-88
Trevor Booker of the Wizards elevates for a dunk. Chicago defeated Washington 98-88 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. on Monday, January 30, 2012. Alan P. Santos/DC Sports Box
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Verizon Center was packed a little more than usual (18,357 in attendance) for Monday’s matchup against the Chicago Bulls. Whether it was to watch the always anticipated and entertaining John Wall versus Chicago’s Derrick Rose matchup or just another example of an influx of an away team’s fans taking over another Washington sports franchise’s home arena, one thing was for sure—the Wizards didn’t show up.
 
Well, let me be fair. The Wizards’ offense didn’t show up. Wall and Rose went at each other from the jump, Rose involving his team more so than Wall and the game reflected each point guard’s play.

“First and foremost (Rose) is an outstanding player, said Wizards head coach Randy Wittman. “He made tough shots. There was just nothing you could do. When he made shots over our big men with his runner, he leaves you no choice but to try different things. He also creates a lot of plays for his teammates.”

Chicago’s offense flowed through Rose all night. Washington’s offense looked more like frozen pipes. Like Wall, the Wizards tend to make a bad situation worse. And like young players often do, the Wizards as a team try to make up for mistakes all at once, digging themselves deeper into holes by compounding bad plays. Monday they found themselves in a big one by the end of the first quarter. Cold shooting, led to bad shot selection which resulted in 31.9% shooting in the first half. Meanwhile, Chicago shot 48.8% led by Rose’s 16 first half points and five assists. As Rose found teammates, particularly Kyle Korver—who had 17 points of the bench, the Bulls began to pull away in a game that was quickly never in doubt and Washington ended the half down 51-40.

The Wizards, on the other hand, are familiar with offensive ineptitude against this Chicago team. In their last meeting, the Bulls, without Rose, held the Wizards to a franchise low, 64 total points. In that game, John Lucas III, Chicago’s third string point guard lit up the Wizards for a career high 28 points—Derrick Rose would have that by the end of the third quarter.

Derrick Rose of the Bulls dribbles against John Wall of the Wizards. Chicago defeated Washington 98-88 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. on Monday, January 30, 2012. Alan P. Santos/DC Sports Box
Chicago would gain its largest lead of 22 points in the third as Rose scored 15 of his game high 35 points in the quarter. And like Rose, when he locked down and became focused, so did Chicago.

“We stayed aggressive. That’s the biggest thing. I think usually in the third quarter we tend to back off a bit," Rose said. "This game, we kept going, trying to make the game easy and that's how we got the win."

Rose, the league MVP, seemed to get stronger as the game neared the final quarter and grew tired of personal rivalry and decided to end any chance of a competitive finish to both the game and he and Wall’s personal duel.

After Wall’s hot start, Rose would shut him down the rest of the game, holding the second year guard to only six points after half. Turnovers and sloppy play would follow as Wall and the Wizards tried to make miracle plays happen out of bad decisions.

It didn’t work and Chicago was able to score 24 points off 16 Wizards’ turnovers.

Washington would make a run in the fourth, but could only get to within eight points of the lead. Wall would finish with 20 points and six assists in the loss and Rose would add eight assists and three blocks to 35 points in the win.

Wall and the Wizards might have better luck Wednesday when they visit the struggling Orlando Magic. Not only is Orlando dealing with trade talks and an embarrassing losing streak but point guard play has been a huge issue as well. And after Monday’s test against the best, it’s a weakness the Wizards should be able to exploit. Game time is scheduled for a 7 p.m. tip.
 
Photo Gallery - Chicago Bulls vs. Washington Wizards
 
John Wall of the Wizards and Derrick Rose of the Bulls have a nice moment prior to tip-off at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. on Monday, January 30, 2012. Alan P. Santos/DC Sports Box
 
Derrick Rose of the Bulls goes up strong to the basket for a layup. Chicago defeated Washington 98-88 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. on Monday, January 30, 2012. Alan P. Santos/DC Sports Box
 
Taj Gibson of the Bulls shoots against Trevor Booker of the Wizards. Chicago defeated Washington 98-88 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. on Monday, January 30, 2012. Alan P. Santos/DC Sports Box
 
JaVale McGee of the Wizards dunks over Omer Asik of the Bulls. Chicago defeated Washington 98-88 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. on Monday, January 30, 2012. Alan P. Santos/DC Sports Box
 
The view from the stands. Chicago defeated Washington 98-88 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. on Monday, January 30, 2012. Alan P. Santos/DC Sports Box
 
JaVale McGee of the Wizards catches the ball inside the paint. Chicago defeated Washington 98-88 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. on Monday, January 30, 2012. Alan P. Santos/DC Sports Box
 
Jordan Crawford of the Wizard loses the ball underneath the basket. Chicago defeated Washington 98-88 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. on Monday, January 30, 2012. Alan P. Santos/DC Sports Box
 
Derrick Rose of the Bulls goes for a reverse layup against JaVale McGee of the Wizards. Washington 98-88 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. on Monday, January 30, 2012. Alan P. Santos/DC Sports Box
 
Joakim Noah of the Bulls elevates for a dunk. Chicago defeated Washington 98-88 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. on Monday, January 30, 2012. Alan P. Santos/DC Sports Box
 
John Wall of the Wizards looks at the game clock. Chicago defeated Washington 98-88 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. on Monday, January 30, 2012. Alan P. Santos/DC Sports Box
 
Jan Vesely of the Wizards throws down a two-handed dunk. Chicago defeated Washington 98-88 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. on Monday, January 30, 2012. Alan P. Santos/DC Sports Box
 
Jordan Crawford of the Wizards has a tough time with Bull's Omer Asik. Chicago defeated Washington 98-88 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. on Monday, January 30, 2012. Alan P. Santos/DC Sports Box
 
Derrick Rose of the Bulls gets a breather. Chicago defeated Washington 98-88 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. on Monday, January 30, 2012. Alan P. Santos/DC Sports Box
 
Newly appointed head coach, Randy Wittman of the Wizards runs a play. Chicago defeated Washington 98-88 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. on Monday, January 30, 2012. Alan P. Santos/DC Sports Box
 
John Wall of the Wizards puts up an acrobatic shot. Chicago defeated Washington 98-88 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. on Monday, January 30, 2012. Alan P. Santos/DC Sports Box
 
Players from both sides come together after the final buzzer sounds. Chicago defeated Washington 98-88 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. on Monday, January 30, 2012. Alan P. Santos/DC Sports Box