Finally, almost everything went right for this reeling Chicago Bulls team.
In a 126-117 Chicago Bulls win against the Washington Wizards, the Bulls built up a big lead, stymied every Wizards run, and won fairly comfortably. They were coming off a second game of a back-to-back but looked like the fresher team tonight.
The reason this game was even remotely competitive in the fourth quarter was the Herculean effort from Bradley Beal. He had a career-high 53 points, visibly being shown on the telecast out of breath throughout the night as he carried the Wizards offense.
Wonder what is going through Bradley Beal’s mind here pic.twitter.com/TCXQ9mu1oa— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) February 24, 2020
The Bulls needed this win tonight. They snapped an ugly eight-game losing streak and won their first game in February.
The Bulls got most of their offensive production from three players. Zach LaVine and Coby White had 32 and 33 points respectively. Thaddeus Young had a season-high 25 points. White has strung together several stellar performances as he continues to be used as the sixth man coming off the bench rather than as a starter on this injury plagued team.
The Bulls made their first three 3-point attempts of the third quarter to extend their lead all the way to 25 points. The Wizards countered with a 17-5 run of their own to pull within 13 points by the 7:35 mark in the third quarter. The rest of the quarter the two teams played pretty even with the Bulls finding themselves up 101-85 after three frames.
The Wizards cut the deficit to single digits several times in the fourth quarter, mostly behind Beal’s outstanding shot making. The Bulls countered every time though, and it was one of those games where it felt like the Bulls were more dominant than the nine points they won by suggests.
For the Bulls, it was the normal suspects doing most of the scoring in the first half. Zach LaVine had 15 points on 50 percent from the field. Coby White, coming off the bench yet again with head coach Jim Boylen preferring to start Ryan Arcidiacono, exploded for 26 points on 9-for-12 from the field.
At the end of the half, the Chicago Bulls literally went with a five-guard lineup which was interesting. They did this again at the end of the third quarter. It worked as the Bulls extended their advantage to 15 points by the time halftime rolled around. Adam Mokoka got 11 minutes of run in the first half which was surprising.
The Bulls scored 73 points in the first half. That is a season high as they shot 57.8 percent from the field and forced 13 turnovers to do it.
In the first half of the game, Zach LaVine broke Ben Gordon’s franchise record for 3-point field goals made in a season. Gordon hit 173 long ones during the 2008-2009 season, shooting the long ball at a 41 percent clip (about three percent better than LaVine has shot it this season).
Although it’s different eras of basketball that favors LaVine because of how many 3-point shots teams get up these days, it’s still impressive that LaVine has passed Gordon’s franchise record with so many games remaining on the schedule.
Also, people forget how good Gordon was. He averaged over 15 points per game in all five of his seasons in Chicago, was on the 2005 All-Rookie squad, and was the last Chicago Bull to win Sixth Man of the Year.
The schedule now gets tougher for the Bulls as they play the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday.