Dave Johnson: Arenas Scores, Rose Wins

Dave Johnson: Arenas Scores, Rose Wins
November 14, 2010, 3:40 am
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Saturday November 13, 2010, 10:54 p.m.
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By Dave Johnson
CSNwashington.comCHICAGO -- In the first regular season meeting between John Wall and Derrick Rose, Gilbert Arenas was able to edge into the spotlight. While Arenas was able to break out with a game-high 30 points, the Wizards failed to break through in a 103-96 loss to the Bulls.To be sure Wall and Rose had their fair share of moments and showed why they are two of the game's most exciting young point guards. Rose had more of an impact on the Bulls and led the team with 24 points and 8 assists.Wall finished with 16 points and 6 assists, but his production was probably limited by a sprained left foot suffered in the third quarter. Wall did return for the final four minutes of the game and even hit a three-pointer to bring the Wizards to within six points at 97-91 with 30 seconds remaining.For Arenas it was his best offensive performance of the season and he became the first Wizards player to score 30 points off the bench since Andray Blatche last season against the Nets. Arenas entry into the game provided the spark for the Wizards to recover from an early eight-point first quarter deficit.It was also a marked step forward for Arenas who has been trying to return to full fitness after suffering ankle and groin injuries late in pre-season. Just the night before against the Bobcats Arenas was 2 of 14 shooting from the field, but against the Bulls Arenas was 11 of 22 and made seven three pointers.Playing in the second of back-to-back games, the Wizards played with energy and effort and it showed on the boards. Against the Bobcats the Wizards were outrebounded 48-30. Against the Bulls, one of the NBA's best rebounding teams, the Wizards had the edge 47-40.Like the Bulls, the Wizards shot 44 percent from the field and even made six more field goals. The problem was shot selection. The Wizards struggled to get to the free throw line. The Bulls made 26 of 34 free throw attempts, while the Wizards were only 4 of 8 from the line.Turnovers also turned the game in the Bulls direction. The Wizards had 23 turnovers for the game and 15 in the middle quarters when the Bulls were able to separate themselves from competitive game and build an 18 point lead at 63-45 with 6:48 left in the third quarter. Arenas' 30-point effort was only part of the Wizards bench story. Hilton Armstrong was the Wizards leading rebounder with 10 and Nick Young helped spark a Wizards fourth quarter revival when he scored 7 of his 11 points.Trevor Booker received extended minutes after Yi Jianlian was forced out of the game in the third quarter with a bone bruise on his right knee. Booker took advantage of those minutes and showed tenacity on defense while also adding four assists.While the Wizards did have a successful night on the boards, it was tough night offensively for the Wizards starting front court. Blatche, JaVale McGee, and Al Thornton combined to shoot 7 of 25 from the field.By contrast the Bulls starting front court of Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, and Luol Deng combined for 50 points and 25 rebounds.