Washington Wizards get balanced effort, take game 1

washington wizards

Nenê held his own down low and led the Wizards to a 102-93 win over the Bulls on Sunday night. Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images North America

Six players scored in double figures for the Washington Wizards as they took the air right out of the United Center by defeating the Chicago Bulls 102-93 in game 1 of their first round matchup.

Nenê led the charge with 24 points and 8 rebounds, while shooting a phenomenal 11-17 from the field. Center Marcin Gortat aided Nenê in the paint by scoring 15 points and pulling down 13 rebounds.  

Washington’s wing players contributed to the scoring column in a major way as well. Wizards small forward Trevor Ariza added 18 points and 7 rebounds. Bradley Beal scored 13 points and dropped 7 dimes. Beal went 7-7 from the charity stripe and also made sure his team sealed the deal by knocking sown some clutch free throws in crunch time.

Point guards Andre Miller and John Wall did a solid job of controlling the pace of the game. Miller, who was mainly acquired by the Wizards for his veteran leadership, displayed just that in game 1 against the Bulls by scoring 10 points in just 14 minutes. On the other hand, Wall scored 16 points but struggled from the field. Fortunately, Wall was able to grab 6 rebounds and dish out 6 assists in order to help his squad in categories other than scoring.

Chicago had seven players in double figures but just fell short when the game was over.  At least some decent inside play was there for Chicago. Joakim Noah notched a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds and  power forward Carlos Boozer added 11 points.

The wing players from Chicago were pretty solid in game 1. Small forward Mike Dunleavy scored 11 points and got the Bulls going from distance by knocking down three trey balls in the third quarter. Jimmy Butler had 15 points and 7 rebounds for Chicago as well.

Role players such as Taj Gibson, Kirk Hinrich and D.J. Augustin were the other three players in double figures for Chicago. Hinrich and Augustin finished with 16 points apiece. Gibson scored 12 points and had 3 big blocks.

This marks the third time this season that the Wizards have beaten the Bulls while having six players in double figures. Chicago clearly has trouble with this young squad. The Bulls are a great defensive team but their offensive struggles are certainly a problem. Chicago is dead last in the NBA in scoring at  just 93.7 points per game! That’s not good for them because this Wizards team averages 100.7 points per game. The final score of tonight’s game was 102-93 and that means the proof is in the pudding. Chicago has to score the basketball more efficiently if they want to move on to the next round. This playoff matchup  is just getting revved up and should be an intense battle as the series unfolds.