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Wizards close out 2017 with the Bulls
The Wizards wrap up 2017 with a Sunday afternoon battle against the Bulls.
Capital One Arena | 3:30 p.m. | NBCSW | 1500 AM
Wizards (20-16): G - Wall, G - Beal, F - Porter Jr., F - Morris, C - Gortat
Bulls (13-22): G - Dunn, G - Holiday, F - Valentine, F - Markkanen, C - Lopez
Wizards: Sheldon Mac (Achilles - Out)
Bulls: Kris Dunn (Knee - Questionable), Zach LaVine (Knee - Out), Cam Payne (Foot - Out)
Wizards Try and Build Off Another Big Win
For the second time this week, the Wizards will be coming off one of their most impressive wins of the season, as they blew out the Rockets on Friday night. After beating the Celtics on Christmas, Friday's win marked the second one of the week in which they beat a team at the top of the conference. However, mixed in between those wins was a loss to the last place Hawks, a trend that has been troubling the Wizards through the first two months of the season. This week has exemplified that trend to the fullest, as the Wiz have looked like a contender and taken down two top teams, and then lost by double digits in Atlanta on Wednesday. Today will be another test against a team near the bottom of the East, although Chicago has been playing as well as anyone in the month of December, the Wiz will look to close out 2017 with their fourth straight home win.
Bulls Enter as Hottest Team in League
Over the last 12 games, no team in the NBA has a better winning percentage than the Chicago Bulls. A statement that would have thought to be impossible one month ago, when the Bulls were 3-20 and had the worst record in the NBA, but this 10-2 stretch has them playing better basketball than almost any team in the league. They are the first team in NBA history to put together a seven game winning streak following a 10-game losing streak. The Bulls are coming off a home win over the Pacers in which they tied a franchise record with 18 3-pointers. They did that without guard Kris Dunn in the lineup, who missed the game with patella tendanitis. Dunn is questionable for today's game against Washington. They did get 32 points from rookie Lauri Markkanen and 28 from Nikola Mirotic, who made a career-high eight 3-pointers. The Bulls can be tough when pairing together bigs who can shoot, something the Wizards must combat today. The Wizards have beaten the Bulls in four straight in D.C. and are 5-2 against Chicago over their last seven.
Otto Heating Up
Otto Porter Jr. has scored 15+ points in four straight games, tying for the longest streak of his career. He tied his career-high with seven 3-pointers on Friday and has now gone 15/26 over his last four games from 3-point range. Porter has moved up to fourth in the NBA in 3-point shooting (46.6%) and has been a big piece to the Wizards offensive attack this week. The Wizards are 7-3 this season when Porter makes at least three 3-pointers in a game. The Wiz will also need Porter to defend the 3-point line tonight, as the Bulls' wings are very capable shooters and Mirotic leads the NBA in 3-point shooting at 48.0%.
Up next, the Wizards welcome the Knicks on Wednesday in their first game of 2018. (7:00 p.m.)