|4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)01:0019:00 ET6:00 PM CTNaN:� , December 28, 2018
Capital One Arena, Washington, District of Columbia Attendance: 20,409
Wizards try get rolling against Bulls
Chicago Bulls at Washington Wizards
- The Bulls lost to the Timberwolves, 119-94, in the United Center on Wednesday, their 10th game at home scoring under 100 points. That is tied for the most such games in the NBA, along with the Grizzlies and Magic.
- After scoring 149 points in a win against the Suns on December 22, their most in a game since 1990, the Wizards have lost two straight, scoring under 100 points in each game. They have allowed over 100 points in 12 consecutive games, the third-longest active streak in the NBA.
- The Wizards have won five of the last six games against the Bulls, but only winning by an average margin of 2.1 points. Chicago has lost five straight in Washington, its last win on December 23, 2014.
- Wendell Carter Jr. blocked two shots against Minnesota to move his total to 51 in 35 games this season. He is the fastest Bulls player to hit 50 blocks in his career since Elton Brand did it in 33 games in 1999-2000.
- Thomas Bryant has gone 25-for-29 (.870) in his last four games, the highest percentage by any Wizard in a four-game stretch in the last 30 seasons (minimum 20 attempts). Since November 1, Bryant has shot 70.3 percent from the field, best in the NBA (minimum 100 attempts).
- Bradley Beal and John Wall each recorded 21 points against the Pistons on Wednesday, moving their scoring average to 23.5 points and 20.7 points, respectively. The Wizards are one of five teams this season to have at least two players average over 20.0 points this season (minimum 25 games).
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WASHINGTON -- Two of the Eastern Conference's most disappointing teams meet for the first time this season Friday when the Chicago Bulls pay a visit to the Washington Wizards.
The Wizards were expected to be contenders in a wide-open conference, but haven't looked like a cohesive unit at any point of the season. They have lost eight of their last 10 contests, including a 106-95 defeat to Detroit on Wednesday, to drop them to 13-22 on the campaign.
Washington has been plagued by poor play at the beginning of halves, ranking No. 19 in the league in first-quarter scoring and 23rd in third-quarter scoring. By contrast, the Wizards are No. 2 in the league in fourth-quarter scoring at 28.6 points per game.
"We can't keep digging ourselves a hole and then come back within three and expect to win a game -- it doesn't work like that," guard Bradley Beal told reporters after Wednesday's game. "We've got to play our (butts) off for 48 minutes. The third quarter, especially, because that's kind of been our Achilles' heel."
After playing 11 of their last 15 games on the road, the Wizards have eight of their next 12 contests at home, giving them a chance to turn things around before their playoff hopes completely slip away.
"I don't think it matters where (the game) is," Wizards forward Trevor Ariza said. "It's just about trying to play as hard and staying as locked in as we can for as close to 48 minutes as possible."
The Wizards will continue to be without forward Otto Porter, who has been ruled out of Friday's contest as he works his way back from a quad injury.
Chicago will get a boost to its lineup Friday as guard Zach LaVine is expected to get the starting nod, one game after returning to action after missing two weeks with an ankle injury. LaVine scored 28 points in the Bulls' 119-94 loss to Minnesota on Wednesday.
"We have to go out there and fight," LaVine told the team's website about Chicago's upcoming two-game road trip. "We have two playoff contenders. Nobody is going to fold. We have to go out there and attack them and try to steal a couple of games. It's good for us to go out there and get a little test on the road."
The Bulls have been a mixed bag under new coach Jim Boylen, alternating between blowout losses and surprising victories. With LaVine back in the fold alongside Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen, Boylen is figuring out a way to make sure his young stars retain their consistency from game to game.
"We don't know what's out there yet," Boylen said. "I do know it's going to come down to sharing and caring and uplifting each other. You're not going to have the same leading scorer every night if you have a good team and if you have guys that are feeding the hot hand, working the right matchup and executing an unselfish, respectful offense. That's what we're going to try to do."
The Bulls made a roster move Thursday, signing guard Brandon Sampson to a two-way contract and waiving two-way player Tyler Ulis. Sampson averaged 17.6 points in 18 games with the G-League Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
Updated December 27, 2018