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Chicago at Washington

Okafor, Wall lead surging Wizards past Bulls

CBSSports.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- For the first 32 games of the season, the Washington Wizards were a sorry bunch -- winning only four times. The comical comparison was the Washington Generals -- the punching bag for the Harlem Globetrotters.

Not so much anymore.

Emeka Okafor had 15 points and 16 rebounds, helping the Wizards beat the Chicago Bulls 86-73 on Saturday night for their seventh victory in the last 10 games.

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Nene scored 16 points and John Wall had 15 for Washington, which has won consecutive games for the second time this season. The Wizards have won five straight at home for the first time in five years.

"We are the team we thought we were supposed to be," Okafor said.

The run began before Wall returned from a left knee injury, and now the injury-riddled team is healthy again.

"We have back all the players. There is our team," Nene said. "We gonna shut up people's mouths. That's what we're going to do."

Chicago (26-17) had won a season-high three in a row for the third time.

Nate Robinson scored 19 points for the Bulls, and Joakim Noah narrowly missed a triple-double with nine points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists, which equaled his career high.

"I think we got beat by a team that just played harder than us tonight," Noah said.

"We played tired basketball tonight."

Chicago dominated Golden State at home on Friday night, leading throughout the game while Washington (11-31) easily beat undermanned Minnesota for its 10th victory of the season.

Two of the season's first five wins came against Miami and Oklahoma City, but in many ways, this was even more impressive.

"As a coach, I'll take it against a high school team," Washington coach Randy Wittman said.

Wittman, whose team was decimated by injuries early this season, pointed out that star point guard Derrick Rose has yet to play for the Bulls, and All-Star forward Luol Deng missed his fifth straight game with a strained right hamstring.

"I've been there, but a win's a win," Wittman said.

Wall, who started for the second straight night, has been the catalyst for the team's recent success.

"It's not just me, man. It's never just me. I wanted to come in and be a spark for the team," Wall said.

"I'm just doing a great job of getting easy shots for my teammates."

The Wizards outscored Chicago 23-11 in the third quarter to take a 73-55 lead. The 11 points were a season low for the Bulls. Chicago had twice as many turnovers (six) as field goals (three) in the period.

"I thought we played low energy tonight," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said.

"You gotta get ready for everybody. ... When you start taking shortcuts, the results aren't gonna be good."

The Wizards put together an 11-0 run late in the second quarter, holding the Bulls scoreless for nearly five minutes while building a 50-44 halftime lead.

Washington outscored Chicago 10-2 to start the third and led 60-46 with 8:58 to play. Nene hit two more field goals and two free throws as the Wizards extended the lead to 69-51 with 4:28 left in the third.

Notes

  • The 29 points in the second half were a season low for the Bulls.
  • Within a minute in the third quarter, Chicago F Carlos Boozer was charged with a flagrant foul for elbowing Okafor and a technical foul.
  • The game was a sellout -- the third of the season for Washington.
  • The Wizards trailed after the first quarter for the first time in their last eight home games.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
 
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Emeka Okafor powers his way to 15 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Wizards to their fifth straight home victory. (Getty Images)
Emeka Okafor powers his way to 15 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Wizards to their fifth straight home victory. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Chicago (25-17)2420111873
Washington (10-31) «2327231386
CHI:N. Robinson 19 Pts
CHI:J. Noah 17 Reb
CHI:J. Noah 10 Ast
WAS:Nene 16 Pts
WAS:E. Okafor 16 Reb
WAS:J. Wall 7 Ast
Players of the Game
ChicagoWashington

Joakim Noah

Emeka Okafor
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
9171015160
Chicago
J. Butler, SF453-72-26009
J. Noah, C433-53-4171049
C. Boozer, PF243-90-02046
K. Hinrich, PG223-50-01337
R. Hamilton, SG164-110-02209
N. Robinson, PG288-192-224319
T. Gibson, PF284-60-03028
M. Belinelli, SG211-54-45006
D. Cook, SG110-40-03000
N. Mohammed, C10-00-00000
M. Teague, PG10-00-00000
V. Radmanovic, SFDid Not Play
L. Deng, SFDid Not Play
D. Rose, PGDid Not Play
Totals 29-7111-1241191673
 40.8%91.7% 
Washington
Nene, C305-136-664316
E. Okafor, C306-83-4160315
B. Beal, SG292-100-10114
J. Wall, PG276-133-437115
M. Webster, SG222-50-03114
T. Ariza, SG263-60-03107
A. Price, PG213-70-02317
K. Seraphin, PF202-70-05234
J. Crawford, SG193-70-00107
T. Booker, PF142-33-44017
G. Temple, SG10-00-00000
C. Singleton, SFDid Not Play
C. Martin, PFDid Not Play
J. Vesely, SFDid Not Play
Totals 34-7915-1942201486
 43.0%78.9% 
Other Games
NY 80 Final
Phi 97
Cle 99 Final
Tor 98
Min 101 Final
Char 102
Brook 106 Final
Hou 119
GS 102 Final
Mil 109
Pho 99 Final
SA 108
Sac 93 Final
Den 121
Ind 110 Final
Utah 114
LAC 100 Final
Port 101