The Bulls Monday were frustrated by Washington.
That’s because the Washington Wizards dominated the Bulls from the start, outhustling the Bulls, outplaying them and outmaneuvering the home team Bulls in a 114-100 Washington victory.
The Bulls were led by Derrick Rose with 23 points and two of three on three pointers. Jimmy Butler adedd 19 points and seven assists and Pau Gasol had 15 points and 10 rebounds.
But the active and more aggressive Wizards had seven players in double figures led by John Wall with 17 points and 10 assists.
The Bulls fell to 22-14 with their second straight loss after six consecutive wins. The Wizards moved to 17-19 even without injured starters Bradley Beal and Marcin Gortat. The Bulls scored at least 100 points for the 11th straight game, but once again gave up more than 110 for the third time in the last six.
The Bulls got Joakim Noah back from missing nine games with a shoulder injury. Noah was scoreless in seven shots with nine rebounds in 19 minutes. He had a shot blocked late and was grabbing his injured shoulder afterward. But it was the starters who started slowly as the Wizards took a 17-9 lead. The Bulls again reverted to deliberate, isolation play. Rose, who tends to rise to the occasion of top opposing point guards, had a fast start with nine first quarter points against John Wall. His drives enabled the Bulls to score six straight.
The Wizards kept putting Gasol in the pick and roll to extend their lead, but Gasol responded to mismatches with Gortat out and drew the Bulls within 28-25 after one quarter. But even without the injured Bradley Beal, the Wizards seemed to catch the Bulls by surprise with a small, three-guard lineup and ran off an 18-2 stretch early in the second quarter as the Wizards then began putting Bobby Portis in the pick and roll with Gasol out. That run gave the Wizards a 50-35 edge as the Bulls weren’t able to counter the mismatches. Rose with 13 in the first half and Butler tried to rally the Bulls back going to the basket. But Gary Neal’s 11 second quarter points including a four-point play enabled the Wizards to lead 62-48 at halftime.
Washington shot 52 percent in the first half with 12 fast break points to two for the Bulls. The Wizards went back to that pick and roll with Nene for a 69-53 lead early in the third quarter. Rose rallied the Bulls back with eight points in a 10-0 Bulls run as the Bulls got within 72-65 midway through the third. But the Wizards behind former Bull Drew Gooden scored after offensive rebounds in three possessions and continued to push the ball against a mostly stagnant Bulls team. The Bulls also repeatedly failed to take advantage of size mismatches inside as the Wizards went into the fourth quarter leading 83-74. The Bulls looked like in recent games they’d take charge in the fourth quarter as they got within 85-81 on an Aaron Brooks 7-0 run.
But again the defense faltered against the Wizards’ fast breaks and the Bulls suffering against the mismatches. The Wizards had a 9-0 answer after a Rose score, Washington’s 17-6 sprint giving them a 102-87 lead with just under six minutes remaining. Trailing 107-89 after the Bulls gave up on a Wizards fast break with 4:35 left, Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg put in all reserves with the first game in a four-games-in-five stretch that began Monday.