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RECAP: Bradley Beal leads Wizards past Bulls

Feb 8, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Coby White (0) is defended by Washington Wizards center Robin Lopez (15) during the first half of an NBA game at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Bradley Beal scored 35 points to lead the Washington Wizards to a 105-101 road victory over the Chicago Bulls on Monday night.

In a matchup of two of the NBA’s best scorers, Chicago’s Zach LaVine matched Beal’s point total with 35 points of his own.

But with a chance to win the game in the closing seconds, LaVine couldn’t tip the scales in the Bulls’ favor.

Trailing 103-101 with 9.8 seconds left, LaVine spun around Beal at the top of the key and drove to the basket, but missed a contested layup. Beal recovered the rebound, drew a foul and hit two free throws to seal the outcome.

The Wizards heeded Beal’s message calling for the team to show some pride coming off Sunday’s ugly loss to the Charlotte Hornets.

Rui Hachimura recorded a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds as Washington took advantage of a shorthanded Bulls’ frontcourt and outscored them in the paint 54-40.

The Bulls were without Lauri Markkanen (right shoulder sprain) for the second consecutive game. Markkanen (19.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game) is expected to miss 2-4 weeks, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

Things got worse in the frontcourt for the Bulls when Daniel Gafford got into foul trouble early. Gafford (10 points, five rebounds) was called for his fifth foul and picked up a technical with 9:59 left in the third, sending him to the bench and forcing Bulls coach Billy Donovan to play Thaddeus Young at center.

Young finished with 14 points, but Alex Len countered for the Wizards with 13 points and seven rebounds. Davis Bertans also finished with 12 points.

Beal posted seven assists and five rebounds and kept the Wizards in front throughout the second half even after the Bulls cut their lead to 69-68 with 7:16 left in the third. Denzel Valentine’s flagrant foul on Beal on a 3-point attempt led to three made free throws followed by a Hachimura triple, which quickly sparked an 8-0 run by the Wizards.

LaVine finished with six assists on 12-of-26 shooting, Valentine had 11 points and Patrick Williams scored 10 points.

–Field Level Media