Otto Porter scored 28 points, Zach LaVine added 22 and the Chicago Bulls, playing without four players who were in the NBA health and safety protocol, beat the winless Washington Wizards 133-130 on Thursday.
Russell Westbrook had his fourth straight triple-double in his four games with Washington, finishing with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. Thomas Bryant and Bradley Beal each had 28 points for Washington (0-5).
“There’s a lot of season left,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. “That first win is always going to be tough.”
The Bulls, who lost their first three games and beat the Wizards twice in three days, took the lead on Coby White‘s two free throws with 1:01 to play.
Chicago had taken an 11-point lead in the third quarter, but couldn’t hold it.
“Our defense wasn’t very good. We fouled way too much,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said.
“Their speed and their pace is way better than ours, and we have got to change that for ourselves right now.”
“I hate that we lost the guys that we lost today,” Gafford said. “It’s a big opportunity because we had to step up, and we had to show that we were ready to play, especially in a game like this because they have two elite guards in Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook.
“We had to come out. We had to lock in.”
Beal is upset with Washington’s start.
“We don’t do moral victories,” he said. “I have to do better on the floor. I have to close the game out.”
Donovan said the missing players won’t be back for Friday’s game at Milwaukee. “My guess is yes, it’s going to go on here for a period of time,” he said before the game. “How long, I’m really unsure of that. I think daily testing helps bring some clarity where guys are at. I don’t know how long it will be, but I think it will be some time.”
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