GAME 4 Bulls lost a chance to tie the series, Wizards on Top

After one day off with a light practice to make some adjustments, Bulls and Wizards are ready for a new battle. The stakes are simple: a win for the Bulls would even the series out, and a win for the Wizards would mean they would take a 2-win lead in front of their home crowd. One thing is sure, the audience is today way louder than the United Center famous for its unique crowd. Wizards will take advantage of being home to top the Bulls and get a 3-1 lead in these series.

First Quarter…

Chicago Bulls v Washington WizardsVery bad start for the Bulls, don’t even know if we could expect worst. They did not score a single point while the Wizards had 14 points after 4 minutes played. Tom Thibodeau had a short talk during his first time out, players have to wake up. Jimmy Butler (16 pts, 3 rbds, 3 pds) is the first man on the stat sheet for Chicago hitting a long-awaited mid-range jumper followed by Joakim Noah (10 pts, 15 rbds, 5 ast, 2 blks) who also hit an open 2. By the end of first Quarter, Bulls started to close the gap thanks to Taj Gibson (32 pts, 7 rbds) simply the Best tonight but Trevor Ariza (30 pts, 8 rbds, 2 stl), Drew Gooden (2 pts, 2 rbds) and teammates pushed the Wizards to a commanding lead: 28-10.

Second Quarter…

Wizards play at the right tempo, every Bulls turnover becomes a fast break thanks to Martell Webster (8 pts, 3 rbds, 1 stl) and Andre Miller pushing the ball in transition. After scoring 4 points in a row, Wizards started to struggle shooting the ball, which allowed the Bulls to come back within 4 at 36-32. Bradley Beal (18 pts, 5 rbds, 3 ast) came back and combined with Martell Webster in another scoring run. The score was 43-32 with 4’39 left in this quarter. At the end of the quarter, Taj Gibson already has 20 points and he is the reason why the Bulls are still breathing. Kevin Seraphin makes his first appearance of the playoffs. On the last possession, Beal finds Ariza for another corner three, ending the half at 55-40.

Third Quarter…

bullswiz-2State of mind seems to have changed for the Bulls with Jimmy Butler showing the way, they came back with a 15-10 stretch, reducing their deficit to 10 points, at 65-55 after 5 minutes in this third quarter. Crowd is pushing the Wizards, who are showing determination and eventually, Washington would deepen the lead to 18 points (75-57) having Carlos Boozer pick up his 5th personal foul. Bulls are struggling to find solutions. DJ Augustin (8 pts, 4 ast) scored his first basket of the game with 2 minutes left in the third period. Ariza punches right back with a jumper to give the Wizards the largest lead of the game 81-60. Wizards are up by 20 at the end of the third, at 82-62.

Fourth Quarter…

The question at this point is will the Wizards maintain their lead? Do the Bulls have the means, and mental resources to overcome the 20-point deficit? Kirk Hinrich (7 pts, 7 ast) who did not score during the 3rd quarter finally makes a jumper, but Bulls’ field goal percentage is still low. They ended up going for a 7-0 streak thanks to team effort lead by Taj Gibson hitting jumpers, hammering the basket and going big with offensive boards. It’s a 12-point game now. Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson are fighting like lions inside but it is still not enough, the score is 91-81 with 2’53 minutes left. The Wizards had an answer to every Bulls point – including a nice dunk by Ariza on a dish by Marcin Gortat (17 pts, 6 rbds, 5 ast) with 1 minute to play. Wizards are up by 12, 95-83 and will maintain their lead to win it.

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