Belinelli and Bulls take down Wizards

By
Updated: December 29, 2012

Marco Belinelli paced Chicago with 17 points off the bench as the Bulls downed the Washington Wizards, 87-77, at the United Center.

Carlos Boozer added a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Luol
Deng contributed 11 points and Kirk Hinrich poured in 10 for the Bulls, who
snapped a two-game slide.

Richard Hamilton returned from a 12-game absence because of a torn plantar
fascia in his left foot and recorded nine points in the victory.

Bradley Beal netted 14 points and Emeka Okafor finished with 11 points and 18
rebounds for Washington, which lost for the ninth time in 10 games.

The teams traded baskets over the opening moments of the first quarter until
Washington ripped off a 16-4 run to jump ahead, 22-14.

The Bulls, however, closed out the first with an 8-4 push to get back within
26-22 at the end of the period, then carried that momentum into the second
quarter. Chicago opened the frame with a 6-0 push to go on top, 28-26, on a
Taj Gibson jumper.

It remained a one-possession game from there until a Boozer jumper was
followed by a Nate Robinson 3-pointer to give the Bulls a 38-33 edge with 4
1/2 minutes left in the half.

Washington would get no closer than three points from there and trailed 45-39
entering the break after Shelvin Mack’s jumper at the buzzer.

Chicago then opened the third quarter with an 11-4 trek to open up a 56-43
advantage before the Wizards answered with a 15-4 run capped with consecutive
Okafor jumpers to get back within 60-58.

Joakim Noah put an end to the run with a tip-in of a missed Deng jumper to
spark a 10-3 spurt, giving the Bulls back a nine-point edge before Mack beat
the buzzer again to make it a 70-63 game at the end of the third quarter.

The Wizards managed to cut their deficit to three points on two separate
occasions in the fourth quarter, but they could not get any closer. After an
Okafor tip-in made it a 79-76 game with 5:19 to play, Chicago scored eight of
the final nine points of the contest to close out the win.

Game Notes

Mack finished with seven points and five assists … Chicago scored 19 points
off 17 Washington turnovers … The Wizards fell to 1-13 on the road this
season … Washington held a 56-49 advantage on the glass, but was outscored
in the paint, 28-24.