Story By: Richard Thomas
Photos By: Sol Tucker
When you need to make something happen at Verizon Center, you call John Wall. Tonight Wall was called on again and helped the Wizards overcome a 18 point deficit to win their 11th straight victory at home over the Bulls, 101-99.
Wall wasn’t going to let a big three pointer by the Bulls Denzel Valentine ruin his party tonight and decided to take matters into his own hands.
“I just walked over there and as I was coming out of the huddle I said, `That’s how you feel?” Wall recalled. “And I said, `You woke a monster up.”
After that thought by Valentine, the Wizards rallied, and Wall hit a game-winning jumper with 5.9 seconds left as Washington defeated Chicago 101-99 to move above .500 for the first time in more than a year.
Wall finished with 26 points and 14 assists to overshadow Valentine, who posted career highs with 19 points and five 3-pointers.
Chicago was missing leading scorers Jimmy Butler (ill) and Dwyane Wade (resting). Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic also sat out with an illness. There had been some question early this week whether the Bulls were going to begin the rebuilding process and shop Butler around. But yesterday the Bulls announced that these three players would not make the trip.
Washington’s 10 consecutive home victories mark the Wizards’ longest such stretch since winning 10 straight in December and January of the 2006-07 season.
At 19-18, Washington is over .500 for the first time since it was 6-5 last season after a victory on Nov. 24, 2015.