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Wizards run by Bulls, 134-125
A little under 72 hours after completing a deal to send Otto Porter Jr. to the Bulls in exchange for Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker, Washington had little trouble with Porter and the Bulls, cruising by them, 134-125. Parker and Portis showed their comfort in their old home the United Center, both starring off the bench to help the Wizards to their highest scoring bench output of the year. Washington has played twice and won twice since the deadline after defeating the Cavs in D.C. the previous night. Bradley Beal led all scorers in this one with 31 on 13-of-21 shooting, his second 30-point game in his last three.
Porter and the Bulls started off hot, opening the game up on a 10-2 run, with Porter hitting his first two shots against his former club, but the Bulls saw little success after that. They kept it close in the first quarter, but turned the ball over eight times in the second en route to the Wizards opening up a 15-point halftime lead. Washington scored 76 in the first half, their most in the opening 24 minutes of a game since 2006. Chicago did not particularly threaten in the second half, and Porter finished with 17 points on 6-of-15 shooting in his first game against the team he spent the first five and a half years of his career with.
The story of this one for Washington was the bench. The three new Wizards all played their part, and along with Chasson Randle, combined for a season-high 64. Parker was the leading man against his former club, going for 20 points, five boards, and six assists, with a number of highlight reel dunks. Of note, Parker started the second half as Jeff Green went out with left hip tightness.
“He’s a good fit for us," head coach Scott Brooks said postgame. "It’s something that we need. We need bench scoring. We need a guy like that and we found him."
Randle scored a career-high 20 points on a wildly efficient 8-of-10 from the field and 4-of-5 from deep, while Portis went for 10 points and 12 rebounds. Newcomer Wes Johnson was also hyper-efficient, with 14 points on 5-of-6 from the field and 3-of-4 from distance.
Beal of course did his part, leading everybody with 31 points. A night after playing the role of distributor and dishing out 13 assists, Beal took the Bull by the horns in this one, setting the tone with 21 first half points. Trevor Ariza and Thomas Bryant rounded out the double-digit scorers for Washington with 19 and 13 respectively.
Washington’s offensive output was gaudy to say the least, with impressive numbers across the board. 57.9% shooting, 12-of-27 from distance, and 38 assists on 55 buckets were just a few of the standout offensive stats for a team that has now scored at least 115 points in five consecutive games.
Emotions were high for some in Chicago on Saturday night, but the Wizards were able to get it done.
"No bad feelings," Portis said after the win. "Now I’m with a team right now and we’re in a playoff hunt and we are a couple of games back from making the playoffs. So, now I’m really focused on that.”
Next up for Washington is a trip to Detroit on Monday for a crucial matchup with the team directly ahead of them in the standings. The Wizards trail the 9th place Pistons by two games, and 8th place Miami by two and a half. Tip-off will be at 7:00 P.M. from Little Caesars Arena.