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Wizards 102, Bulls 86

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WASHINGTON — John Wall claimed his first head-to-head victory over fellow star guard Derrick Rose and the Washington Wizards largely maintained control after taking a 20-point lead in the first quarter for a 102-86 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Friday night.

Center Marcin Gortat had 21 points and 13 rebounds and Wall finished with 16 points and 12 assists for the Wizards (25-11), who moved ahead of the Bulls (25-12) and into second place in the Eastern Conference standings.

Washington’s starting five dominated its counterparts throughout and fought off multiple attempted rallies after halftime for the Wizards’ third straight win. Guard Bradley Beal scored 17 points and forward Nene had 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Though a battle, the Wizards never allowed the lead to dip below six points in the second half and eight in the fourth quarter.

Rose scored 19 points for the Bulls in their second straight loss after winning 10 of 11. Chicago had a season-low 13 points in the first quarter and shot 38.6 percent from the field.

Wall, who leads all Eastern Conference guards in All-Star voting, was 0-5 all time against Rose. Chicago won the first meeting between the teams this season 99-91 on Dec. 23 in Washington. The Wizards defeated the Bulls during a feisty five-game playoff series last season.

Rose entered with a career-worst slump, shooting 28 of 110 (25.5 percent) from the field. Though he converted several twisty layups, Rose finished 8 of 19, missing all three attempts in the fourth quarter. The former NBA MVP went 1 of 7 on 3-point tries.

Forward Pau Gasol had 12 points for the Bulls. Guard Jimmy Butler scored 10 points on 2-of-12 shooting from the field.

The Bulls made three consecutive 3-pointers, the last two by guard Aaron Brooks to cut Washington’s lead to 85-77 with 7:49 remaining.

Wizards reserve forward Rasual Butler countered with five straight points, finishing with 13.

The up-tempo Wizards used a 12-0 run and the Bulls’ 5-of-25 shooting from the field for a 30-13 first-quarter lead.

When the reserves entered, Chicago fought back to 41-34 with 3:57 remaining.

With their starters back, the Wizards pushed back. Wall scored or assisted on seven of Washington’s final eight baskets of the quarter and Beal sank two 3-pointers, sending the Wizards into halftime leading 60-42.

NOTES: Bulls F Mike Dunleavy missed his fourth straight game and is expected to undergo an MRI on his right ankle Saturday, coach Tom Thibodeau said. Dunleavy last played on Jan. 1. … F Paul Pierce returned to Washington’s starting lineup after being given off the night in Wednesday’s win over the New York Knicks. … Wizards G John Wall entered Friday with a league-leading nine games with at least 20 points and 10 assists. … The final two games in the series will take place in Chicago. Washington next visits Jan. 14. … Chicago returns home to face the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday. The Wizards travel to Atlanta for a Sunday afternoon meeting with the Eastern Conference-leading Hawks.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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