John Wall leads Washington to eighth straight home win
With less than a minute to play in a tie game, the Washington Wizards predictably turned to John Wall, and the point guard continued his late-season uprising by helping to author a 90-86 victory over the Chicago Bulls Tuesday night in front of 17,319 at Verizon Center. Wall drove deep into the lane, drew multiple defenders and delivered the ball to Nene, who spotted Emeka Okafor cutting to the basket. The center gathered Nene’s pass before converting the layup for the decisive points with 46 seconds to play, and when Trevor Ariza made two foul shots to complete the scoring, Washington had won its eighth in a row at home for the first time since 2006-07. Wall finished with game highs of 27 points, nine assists and three blocks, and he added eight rebounds and made 11 of 13 from the free throw line. He committed one turnover and no fouls in nearly 37 minutes as Washington remained mathematically in the hunt for the playoffs. “As funny as you might think it is, we’re not eliminated yet,” Wizards Coach Randy Wittman said. “Stranger things have happened. Has anybody hit the lotto in here? Let’s go buy some tickets.” Washington (28-46) is chasing the Milwaukee Bucks for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Bucks would have to lose all nine of their remaining games while Washington, which owns the tiebreaker, needs to win its remaining eight in order to qualify for the postseason. Following intermission, the Wizards certainly played with a heightened sense of urgency against the Bulls, who are trying to gain ground for Eastern Conference playoff seeding. Chicago (40-33) entered Tuesday having won four of five and trails the Brooklyn Nets by two games in the loss column for the fourth seed.
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