Wizards top Bulls after final nerve-wracking 9.8 seconds

The+Washington+Wizards+logo+adorns+a+student%27s+bedroom+wall.

Photo by Dylan Schmidt

The Washington Wizards logo adorns a student’s bedroom wall.

The Washington Wizards’ season has been up and down so far but what happened Feb 8 could turn things around. The team was in Chicago taking on the Bulls. It was back and forth throughout, but Washington pulled off the win.

The Star Track Matchup was Bradley Beal (who is the NBA’s leading scorer) and Zach Lavine. Ahead of tip-off, both teams were missing players. Washington played without Russell Westbrook (Personal Reasons) and Chicago played without Chandler Hutchison (Personal Reasons), Lauri Markkanen (Shoulder), Otto Porter Jr (Back), and Wendell Carter Jr (Quad).

Washington is using various starting lineups this season because of scoring inconsistency. Against Chicago, they put Raul Neto, Bradley Beal, Davis Bertans, Rui Hachimura, and Alex Len. Chicago mixed things up too, because of their roster changes. They went with Zach Lavine, Coby White, Daniel Gafford, Patrick Williams, and Denzel Valentine.

The first quarter was fairly even, the leading scorers were Beal (nine) and Lavine (seven). Washington scored 24 total and Chicago scored 27.

The second quarter saw slight improvement for Washington. They put up 34 points and led by 10 at halftime. Again, Beal led the way, ending with 13 points. Chicago struggled to stop the surge and scored 21 points. Lavine led and finished with 15.

The third quarter saw Chicago bounce back, edging out Washington by five. Chicago landed 30 points to Washington’s 25. By this point, Lavine totaled 27, while Beal had 24.

The fourth quarter was heated and closer than ever. The Wizards scored and the Bulls scored 23 total. But the best part was the final 9.8 seconds. Washington held a two point lead (103-101) after Beal had just made one of two foul shots. Chicago had a chance to win via a three, but instead went with the two point and foul plan. Lavine missed the layup and was forced to foul Beal afterwards. Bradley hit both free throws to end it at 105-101.

The Wizards improved their record to 6-15 (14th in East) and the Bulls dropped to 9-14 (12th in East). Both Beal and Lavine are leading struggling teams and are out to prove their All-Stars. “I thought the back and forth made the game a lot more interesting,” said WJ Sophomore Dylan Schmidt.

The Wizards have had one problem throughout this year. Washington’s inability to play defense and score during all 48 eight minutes has been their kryptonite all season long. “It’s hard for us to play consistently throughout all four quarters. So we either win a nail biter or we lose” said Sophomore Brendan Glaser.

Russell Westbrook’s availability has been staggered as well, leading to Wizards having to play out of their usual roles which has led to inconsistent play. He hasn’t played a single double header since returning from quad tightness. “They [seem] better without Westbrook [but] he had some clutch moments in some games,” said Sophomore Varun Somasundar.

Hopefully the Wizards can turn it around and fast. Their fans have been waiting for a long time.