NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, December 22nd (All times eastern)
Chicago Bulls (17-9) at Washington Wizards (7-19), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Chicago Bulls aim to build off one of their more impressive wins when they begin a three-game road trip tonight against the Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center.
Chicago annihilated Philadelphia, 121-76, last night and led by as many as 51 points and had a 52-26 advantage in the paint. Derrick Rose posted his seventh double-double with 22 points and 12 assists, Carlos Boozer provided 16 points and 11 rebounds and Luol Deng scored 22 points for the Bulls, who rebounded from Saturday's loss vs. the Clippers to win for the eighth time in nine tries and shot a season-high 64.5 percent.
"We played together as a group of guys," stated Boozer. "We came out very focused tonight and played a great game against [the Sixers]. It's a great thing for us to build on in the future."
C.J. Watson scored 14 points off the bench and Kurt Thomas had 12 and eight boards in a winning cause. Chicago had a 33-19 edge after the first quarter and outscored the Sixers, 31-11, in the third stanza. It also forced 18 turnovers and held Philly to just two scorers in double figures.
The Bulls will also visit the Knicks and Pistons on the road swing and own a 6-6 mark outside the Windy City this season. Chicago forward Taj Gibson is questionable for Wednesday's game against Washington with a concussion sustained against the Clippers.
Meanwhile, the Wizards will try to win back-to-back games for the first time this season when they close out a three-game homestand Wednesday.
Washington ended a seven-game slide with Monday's 108-75 victory over Charlotte, as Nick Young finished with a game-high 21 points and Andray Blatche scored 19 for the Wizards, who are 1-1 on the residency and 7-6 in the nation's capital this season.
"We're communicating much better," said Wizards guard Kirk Hinrich, who posted 18 points and 11 assists. "We're putting ourselves in a good position and we have a tight shell. We're trying to help each other and when you do that you have a chance to play good."
Young is averaging 22.2 points per game over his last five games, and has scored 20 or more points in four straight contests for the first time in his career. The Wizards played well in the third quarter, outscoring the Bobcats by a 31-11 margin, and shot 52 percent for the game. Charlotte committed 27 turnovers against the Wizards, whose recent 33-point win marked the largest victory since defeating Seattle, 137-96, on November 11, 2005.
Wizards newcomer Rashard Lewis is expected to debut with his new team after he was traded from Orlando to Washington over the weekend for Gilbert Arenas. Lewis and rookie John Wall did not play in the win over Charlotte. Wall has missed four straight games with a balky right knee and is questionable.
The Bulls beat Washington, 103-96, at the United Center on Nov. 13 this season and has won 11 of the past 16 meetings between the teams. Chicago, however, has lost 12 of its previous 17 trips to DC.
12/22 10:35:33 ET