Wizards 86, Bulls 73By The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Sat, Jan 26, 2013 9:50 PM EST
WASHINGTON -- Emeka Okafor tallied 15 points and 16 rebounds, and John Wall also had 15 points as the Washington Wizards won their fifth straight home game with an 86-73 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night. Nene's 16 points led the Wizards (11-31), who took control with a 34-11 run overlapping halftime. Washington has won 7 of 10 games after starting the season 4-28 and its last four home wins have all been by 10 or more points. Facing one of the NBA's stingiest defenses, the Wizards scored 48 points in the paint and committed only nine turnovers before the sellout crowd of 20,308. Nate Robinson scored 19 points for the Bulls (26-17), who entered the contest riding a season-high three-game winning streak. None of Chicago's starters scored in double figures and the Bulls scored a season-low 11 third quarter points. Trailing 40-35 with 5:27 left in the second quarter, Washington scored 11 straight points and Wall's driving layup sent the Wizards into the halftime locker room ahead 50-44. After the teams traded baskets starting the third, Washington pulled away with 8-0 and 9-0 spurts and Nene's free throws put Washington up 69-51. Jordan Crawford's jumper opening the fourth quarter gave Washington its largest lead at 75-55 and the margin never dipped back into single digits. Within a 38-second span in the third quarter, Carlos Boozer picked up a flagrant foul followed by a technical for dragging a driving Okafor to the ground. Boozer missed six of nine shots and finished with six points and two rebounds. Wall had seven assists and played 28 minutes in his second start of the season after coming off the bench for his first eight games. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft missed the opening 33 games with a left knee injury. Since his return on Jan. 12, Washington has won six of nine games. Coming off a home win Friday night against Golden State, the Bulls led 24-23 after the first quarter and by five in the second quarter. However, a five-minute scoring drought followed - as did the Wizards' decisive surge. Chicago had won four straight games in Washington dating back to 2010. The Bulls won the initial meeting this season in Chicago on Dec. 29, 87-77. NOTES: Bulls All-Star forward Luol Deng missed his fifth straight game with a right hamstring injury. ... Despite his starting role, Wall remains on a minutes limit, coach Randy Wittman said. ... Washington trailed after the first quarter for the first time in eight home games. ... Chicago and Washington face off two more times this season, but not until April. ... The Wizards close their three-game homestand Monday against Sacramento. The Bulls host Charlotte on Monday before embarking on a season-high six-game trip.
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