At the end of the game Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls starters were still on the floor. A relentless pressure defense by the Wizards in the fourth quarter made the Bulls work harder and the crowd of 18,357 stay longer. In the end the work Rose did in the first three quarters was enough to carry the Bulls to a 98-88 victory.
A night after playing 44 minutes in a loss to Miami, Rose still had enough to put together his third consecutive game with more than 30 points. With a mixture of cross-over moves and drives to the basket along with floaters from 3 to 12 feet from the basket, Rose scored a game-high 35 points to go with his 8 assists. He was also 14 of 15 from the free throw line.
A few times I caught myself just watching the shots he was taking because they are really unbelievable, Wizards' forward Trevor Booker said. I watch him on TV, but actually playing against him and watching some of the things he does is crazy.
With Richard Hamilton out with a thigh injury, Kyle Korver started and helped the Bulls build a 51-40 half-time lead. Korver scored 11 of his 17 points in the second quarter. Carlos Boozer added 18 points, while Joakim Noah finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds.
In the fourth quarter Rose only scored 4 points as the Wizards disrupted the Bulls with full-court pressure. Rose was double-teamed every time he touched the ball in the fourth quarter. Over the games final 12 minutes the Wizards came away with 6 steals and 14 points off 8 Bulls turnovers.
In the fourth quarter, I was a little hesitant to go with the defensive strategy of a full court press because we never worked on it, Wizards head coach Randy Wittman said. I looked to the guys on the bench and told them this is a chance for us to steal this ball game. They stayed in the ball game and my heart goes out to those guys; they are one exhausted bunch and left it on the floor. I cant ask for anything else from my team.
Nick Young scored 12 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter when the Wizards outscored the Bulls 29-22. Young also had two blocked shots in the fourth quarter. John Wall led the Wizards with 20 points and 6 assists. For the second straight game Trevor Booker came off the bench to score in double-digits and came close to a double-double with 14 points and 9 rebounds.
For too long in this game the Wizards didnt shoot well and credit must be given to the Bulls defense., Through three quarters the Wizards were only shooting 35 percent from the field and in that third quarter had fallen behind by 22 points. The Wizards won the battle of the boards against the NBAs best rebounding team 44-40. The Wizards 16 turnovers only led to 12 Bulls points.
The Wizards even had a 17-15 advantage in second chance points and a 50-32 edge in points in the paint. The Bulls were successful in typically taking away the Wizards first option on offense. Much like a defensive back in football is able to edge a wide receiver out of position, the Bulls put the Wizards in uncomfortable positions on offense.
They are one of the toughest teams to play against, Young said. They take away your first play and make you think. They jump the ball and their big men are over aggressive. They make it very hard.