Bill Smith/Chicago Bulls

Bulls fall to Wizards despite season-high from Rose

Bulls fall to 26-14 on the season

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By Sam Smith | 1.14.2015 | 9:38 p.m. CT

The Bulls Wednesday suffered their fifth loss in their last nine games and second straight to the Washington Wizards in less than a week in a 105-99 defeat.

The Bulls record fell to 26-14 and 12-9 at home while the Wizards are 27-12.

The Bulls were led by Derrick Rose with a season high 32 points with six three pointers. Pau Gasol had 11 points shooting four of 11 and Jimmy Butler had 13 points shooting three of 10. The Wizards were led by Paul Pierce with 22 points and John Wall with 21.

It was a more spirited start for the Bulls, who scored 17 first quarter points with a dramatic close, a half court three pointer at the buzzer for a 32-26 first quarter lead. Rose making seven of nine shots in the first quarter and three of four threes was active and aggressive against rival Wall, who had four in the quarter. It was an aggressive effort for Snell, as it was for the Bulls, who were helping better on defense, fronting and with the guards back rebounding. It enabled the Bulls to pull ahead 43-32 midway through the second quarter. The Wizards got a boost with the shooting of Bradley Beal, but Rose with another pull up three for 20 first half points enabled the Bulls to take a 50-44 halftime lead. The Bulls got bad news to start the second half as Noah had to go out for the rest of the game with that ankle sprain suffered on the last shot of the first half. The Bulls offense turned stagnant as the Wizards went on to lead 76-69 heading into the fourth quarter. After the Bulls stayed within 85-82 with 5:45 left, the Wizards with a 10-2 run as the Bulls offense went stagnant again pulled away and weren’t threatened thereafter.

Observations:

1. It’s good Rose keeps shooting those threes as he made four in the first half for 20 first half points. With the Bulls limited long distance shooting it’s vital Rose shoot those threes to open the court and make the defense react while Rose also was aggressive into the lane.

2. It was a tough game for Pau Gasol against Nene, one of the more physical big men who gives Gasol trouble. It’s one reason playing the Wizards with their two big men is a difficult matchup for the Bulls.

3. Defenses have begun to react more aggressively to Jimmy Butler, who continues to struggle with his shooting and had missed seven of nine through the first three quarters after shooting 14 of 47 the last four games before Wednesday.