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Rose’s Bulls top Wall’s Wizards 99-91

Alan Draper profile picture
Sports Editor
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WASHINGTON — Presents arrived early for NBA fans waiting for the long-overdue rematch between Derrick Rose and John Wall.

Like the previous head-to-head matchups, Rose’s Chicago Bulls received their desired wish at the expense of Wall’s Washington Wizards on Tuesday, and Rose came out on top in his first head-to-head meeting with Wall in nearly three years.

The star guards provided the sellout crowd at Verizon Center with a dazzling fourth quarter.

Rose scored eight of his game-high 25 points over the final 3 1/2 minutes, and the Bulls fended off the Wizards 99-91.

Forward Pau Gasol had 18 points for the Bulls, who outscored the Wizards 8-1 late in the fourth quarter after falling behind following a 12-0 Washington run.

Chicago (19-9) earned its fourth consecutive victory and won for the seventh time in eight games.

Wall scored 10 of his 18 points during the final-period rally, including the final eight as the Wizards went from trailing 86-75 to leading 87-86 with 3:44 remaining.

After guard Jimmy Butler’s free throws put the Bulls back on top 88-87, Rose took control. The 2011 NBA Most Valuable Player flashed his award-winning style by scoring the next six points. His step-back jumper put the Bulls up 94-87 with 1:48 left.

“You saw two people go at it tonight, two good teams,” Rose said of his battle with Wall.

On Monday, Rose scored 29 points and made 6 of 7 shots in the fourth quarter of Chicago’s 129-120 road win over the Toronto Raptors.

“He’s picked up right where he’s left off,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said of Rose, who missed chunks of time in recent seasons with knee injuries. “This is the first time he’s played really well in a back-to-back (games).”

The Wizards (19-8) have lost two straight since matching the best start to any season in franchise history. The Phoenix Suns snapped Washington’s eight-game home winning streak Sunday.

“They made plays,” said Wall, who added nine assists. “They outrebounded us and got to the free throw line more. We fought back, but we didn’t get enough stops that we needed at the end.”

Reserve guard Aaron Brooks scored 13 points, forward Taj Gibson 12 and Butler 11 for the Bulls. Center Joakim Noah grabbed 11 rebounds, leading Chicago to a 52-41 advantage on the boards.

Washington guard Bradley Beal had 15 points. He failed to score after briefly leaving the court following an inadvertent elbow from Gibson at the end of the third quarter.

Rose and Wall, both former No. 1 overall draft picks, met for only the fifth time since Wall entered the league in 2010. Injuries, most recently to Rose’s knee, had prevented the two from playing in the same game since Jan. 30, 2012.

“It’s fun to have (Derrick) back out there,” Wall said. “It’s great for the game of basketball. Its great competition and a great battle for me. They came out with a win tonight. I would have been happier if we got the win.”

Rose proved to be the Wizards’ thorn with 18 points in the second half.

“I know where I’m going to be in a couple of months. You all are going to be the ones that are going to be surprised by the way I’m going to play,” Rose said.

Washington defeated the Rose-less Chicago Bulls 4-1 in a chippy opening-round playoff matchup last season.

After Chicago scored 49 points in the fourth quarter Monday night against the Raptors, the Bulls and Wizards slogged through a low-scoring first half. The Bulls led 46-40 at the break after attempting 14 free throws vs. three for the Wizards.

Gasol’s first 3-pointer of the season beat the first-quarter buzzer, and Rose sank a wild shot from beyond the arc in the final second before halftime.

NOTES: Bulls G Kirk Hinrich did not travel to Washington after leaving their win over the Toronto Raptors in the fourth quarter Monday with a left knee injury. Coach Tom Thibodeau said Hinrich is questionable for Thursday’s home matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers. … The Wizards and Knicks play in New York in the first of five NBA games on Christmas Day. Starting Thursday, Washington will play six of its next seven games on the road. The Wizards had ventured away from home only 10 times in the opening 27 games. … The second of four Bulls-Wizards matchups this season takes place on Jan. 9 in Washington.

Alan is an expert gambling writer who works as one of the chief editors for Basketball Insiders. He has been covering online gambling and sports betting for over 8 years, having written for the likes of Sportlens,, The Sports Daily, 90min, and His particular specialisms include US online casinos and gambling regulations, and soccer and basketball betting. Based in London, Alan holds an MA in English Literature and is a passionate supporter of Chelsea FC.

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