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(Saturday, December 29th)
Final Score: Chicago 87, Washington 77
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Marco Belinelli paced Chicago with 17 points off the bench as the Bulls downed the Washington Wizards, 87-77, at the United Center.
Carlos Boozer added a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Luol Deng contributed 11 points and Kirk Hinrich poured in 10 for the Bulls, who snapped a two-game slide.
Richard Hamilton returned from a 12-game absence because of a torn plantar fascia in his left foot and recorded nine points in the victory.
"I think we can play much better than we did tonight, but it was important for us to win a game and we did," Belinelli said.
Bradley Beal netted 14 points and Emeka Okafor finished with 11 points and 18 rebounds for Washington, which lost for the ninth time in 10 games.
The teams traded baskets over the opening moments of the first quarter until Washington ripped off a 16-4 run to jump ahead, 22-14.
The Bulls, however, closed out the first with an 8-4 push to get back within 26-22 at the end of the period, then carried that momentum into the second quarter. Chicago opened the frame with a 6-0 push to go on top, 28-26, on a Taj Gibson jumper.
It remained a one-possession game from there until a Boozer jumper was followed by a Nate Robinson 3-pointer to give the Bulls a 38-33 edge with 4 1/2 minutes left in the half.
Washington would get no closer than three points from there and trailed 45-39 entering the break after Shelvin Mack's jumper at the buzzer.
Chicago then opened the third quarter with an 11-4 trek to open up a 56-43 advantage before the Wizards answered with a 15-4 run capped with consecutive Okafor jumpers to get back within 60-58.
Joakim Noah put an end to the run with a tip-in of a missed Deng jumper to spark a 10-3 spurt, giving the Bulls back a nine-point edge before Mack beat the buzzer again to make it a 70-63 game at the end of the third quarter.
The Wizards managed to cut their deficit to three points on two separate occasions in the fourth quarter, but they could not get any closer. After an Okafor tip-in made it a 79-76 game with 5:19 to play, Chicago scored eight of the final nine points of the contest to close out the win.
"We just didn't make shots and they got rebounds. They're only going to give you one shot," Wizards guard Garrett Temple said.
Mack finished with seven points and five assists ... Chicago scored 19 points off 17 Washington turnovers ... The Wizards fell to 1-13 on the road this season ... Washington held a 56-49 advantage on the glass, but was outscored in the paint, 28-24.
12/30 00:33:06 ET