Bulls big third-quarter run spoils Bradley Beal's efficient night

Chase Hughes

The Washington Wizards lost to the Chicago Bulls 115-106 on Wednesday night.

Here are five takeaways from what went down...

1. The Wizards have shown some promise lately on the defensive end, at least in their wins. And by halftime against the Bulls, that held up as they held Chicago to 4-for-18 from three.

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But then the third quarter happened and the wheels fell off for the Wizards' defense. The Bulls erupted for a 22-6 run to open the third quarter and, though the Wizards pushed back and kept it close, that was the turning point.

Chicago then built a 13-point lead in the fourth and won by nine. The Wizards fell to 13-27 on the year. Friday against the Raptors will be their 41st game of the season, the midway point.

2. The Wizards had Thomas Bryant in the starting lineup in his second game back from an extended absence due to the stress reaction in his right foot. But he wasn't starting at center, like he usually does. Ian Mahinmi was at the five.

Bryant spent much of the game playing at power forward and running around guarding Lauri Markkanen. Maybe it had something to do with the defensive match-up, but it could also have a little to do with the type of player Bryant is. 

He can run the floor and shoot, but he has trouble protecting the rim and isn't the best rebounder. Pairing him with Mahinmi, the team's best shot-blocker, is at least worth experimenting with.

Bryant, by the way, was held to five points and three rebounds in 12 minutes.

3. Bradley Beal was a game-time decision once again, but this time it was not due to the right lower leg soreness he had been dealing with in recent weeks. No, Beal was dealing with a sore right shoulder and was listed as questionable before getting the go-ahead about an hour before tip-off.

Beal, though, showed no signs of it during the game. He had 23 points on 8-for-13 shooting. He had 17 points in the first half alone.

It is not clear how Beal hurt his shoulder, but it does not seem to be very serious given how he played against the Bulls.

4. Speaking of injuries and former third overall picks, ex-Wizards wing Otto Porter Jr. was out for the Bulls for the 33rd straight game due to a foot injury. It sounds like he will be back around the All-Star break.

Porter had a reputation for being injury-prone in Washington, of course, though to his credit he did average 76.5 games from 2015 to 2018. And this year it's more noteworthy than others. That's because he has a player option worth $28.5 million for next season. That's the last year of the max contract he signed with the Wizards in the summer of 2017.

At this point, it seems like a safe bet he will be taking that option.

5. When Tomas Satoransky was playing in Washington, his teammates often teased him for being a 'practice dunker.' He was the best leaper on the team, yet rarely got the opportunity to show it off in games.

There were moments, but they were few and far between. The most famous one was against the Rockets when he caught Zhou Qi with a vicious slam.

Well, he threw down another poster dunk on Wednesday and it happened to come against his former team. Satoransky took off on a halfcourt play and nearly ended Mahinmi with a big-time dunk.

If only he could have done that more with the Wizards.

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Bulls big third-quarter run spoils Bradley Beal's efficient night originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

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