For the third time this season, the Washington Wizards find themselves at .500. They reached the mark with a 96-93 win against the Chicago Bulls Jan. 17 at Verizon Center. It's their second win versus the Bulls in less than a week -- they defeated the Bulls in Chicago Jan. 13.
The Wizards (19-19) have put together a three-game winning streak by playing better defense and with more intensity.
“It wasn't our most prettiest win, but it was a gutty one," coach Randy Wittman said. “I give our guys credit for gutting this one out."
But even Wittman will agree that with his shortened rotation, playing with intensity for 48 minutes is a tall order.
“We didn't have intensity in those first five minutes [of the third quarter]," Wittman said. “We've got to figure out what we are doing in the locker room. Maybe get some Red Bulls in there or something."
Wizards guard John Wall led all scorers with 23 points, and added 11 assists. Guard Bradley Beal and swingman Martell Webster each had 14. Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich led Chicago with 18. The Wizards went on a 10-0 third quarter run, which started off with Wall connecting on a 360-circus style shot he hit while falling to the floor.
“I don't ever practice it," Wall said. “It was just my go-to behind-the-back move and [Hinrich] fouled me, so I just wanted to get a shot up to the rim and luckily it went in."
The Wizards will need that luck to stay with them just a little bit longer. They will face the Detroit Pistons (16-23) Jan. 18 at Verizon Center. A win would put them at better than .500 for the first time since October 2009.
“I don't want to think about it really," Wall said of having a winning record. “I think we get too anxious about it and too nervous and hyped and trying to finally get over it and then we don't come out and play the right way."