Wizards battle Bulls in quest for .500

Wizards battle Bulls in quest for .500
January 17, 2014, 1:00 pm
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Jan 13, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Washington Wizards point guard John Wall (2) steals the ball from Chicago Bulls point guard D.J. Augustin (14) during the second half at United Center. Washington defeats Chicago 102-88.

(Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports)

The Wizards are playing three games in four days, and a win Friday night will put them at .500 for the third time this season.

TV: Wizards Central pregame show on CSN at 6:30 p.m. ET; followed by tip-off from Verizon Center at 7 and Wizards Postgame Live immediately afterward. Radio: 1500 AM. 

Last game: Wizards (18-19) beat the Miami Heat 114-97 on Wednesday; Bulls (18-19) won at the Orlando Magic 128-125 on Wednesday.

Last meeting: Washington won 102-88 at Chicago on Monday, only committing 12 turnovers and being just the second team to shoot 50% or better at United Center.

Projected starting lineups: Wizards –- PG John Wall, SG Bradley Beal, SF Trevor Ariza, PF Nene, C Marcin Gortat. Bulls –- PG Kirk Hinrich, SG Jimmy Butler, SF Mike Dunleavy, PF Carlos Boozer, C Joakim Noah.

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Entry passes: 1). The Wizards had just 12 turnovers in each of their last two games. 2). Six players scored in double figures during the first meeting for Washington, which had a season-high seven vs. Miami. 3). With coach Randy Wittman only going three deep into his bench, Garrett Temple has to outplay Bulls counterpart D.J. Augustin again. 4). The Bulls grabbed 14 offensive rebounds, which is too many.

X-factor: Ariza has been sick since Wednesday, when he played with a 102-degree temperature. He didn't practice Thursday, but he shot around Friday morning. 

He said it: “They're all winnable games. Just getting our feet wet, getting the win at home really gives us a lot of confidence. There was a lot of energy in practice. ... Everybody is energized, happy. That's what you want." -- Beal on Wizards winning their first game at Verizon in 2014

Around the bend: The Wizards play the Detroit Pistons at home Saturday (CSN, 7) and then will have the day off Sunday.