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Wizards shut down Bulls in second half
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - A physical battle in the post left Carlos Boozer clearly frustrated.
By the end of the game, the Chicago Bulls looked like a team that was playing with fatigue.
Emeka Okafor had 15 points and 16 rebounds as the Washington Wizards upended the Bulls, 86-73, at Verizon Center. Nene totaled 16 points and John Wall contributed 15 points and seven assists in Washington's seventh victory in 10 games.
Kirk Hinrich, who had a season-high 25 points in Chicago's 103-87 home win over Golden State on Friday, was limited to seven points a night later. Joakim Noah barely missed a triple-double, as he finished with nine points, 17 rebounds and tied a career-high with 10 assists for the Bulls, whose three- game winning streak came to an end. Nate Robinson led the way with 19 points in defeat.
Chicago scored 29 points in the second half.
"We had to make a couple of adjustments at halftime to do a couple of things that we really haven't done a lot this year. These guys went out and did it," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said.
Boozer was hit with a flagrant 1 foul and a technical in a span of 38 seconds in the third quarter. The flagrant came with 6:33 left in the period. Boozer was posting up when he elbowed Okafor in the face. Okafor went 1-of-2 at the charity stripe to expand Washington's lead to 65-51.
Shortly thereafter, Okafor, who was trying to drive to the hoop, crashed into Boozer. The Bulls forward gave Okafor a small shove and a technical foul was called.
Boozer picked up his fourth foul with 4 1/2 minutes left in the third, and he went to the bench.
The Wizards carried a 73-55 lead into the fourth quarter and were ahead by double digits the rest of the way.
Chicago held a 24-23 lead after a tightly contested first quarter. Wall's layup in the dying seconds of the second quarter boosted the Wizards to a 50-44 halftime edge. The Wizards scored 11 in a row during the quarter, wiping out a five-point deficit. Okafor capped the burst with a hook shot with 1:08 left for a 46-40 difference.
The Wizards scored eight straight in the early stages of the third quarter.
"I thought our help was a step slow," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "We didn't react, we didn't get in or get out. It's a compilation of things. Other than the first quarter, I didn't think we played up to our capability."
The Wizards have won five in a row at home ... The Bulls won the first meeting, 87-77, on December 29th in Chicago. The two teams will meet again on April 2nd in Washington and April 17th in Chicago. This was Washington's second win in the last 10 meetings.
01/26 23:39:12 ET
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