The Washington Wizards were unable to maintain the momentum they built before the All-Star break, dropping a home contest to Eastern Conference-worst Cleveland on Friday. The Wizards will try to bounce back against another team behind them in the standings when they visit the Chicago Bulls on Sunday.
After winning five of seven prior to the break, Washington shot 38.7 percent from the floor overall and scored just 42 points after halftime in the 113-108 setback to the Cavaliers. "Down the stretch, they made some shots and we missed some shots," Wizards guard Ish Smith, who shot 2-of-12, told reporters after the loss. "And sometimes it's that simple." The Bulls are suffering through a season-high eight-game losing streak, including Saturday's 112-104 setback against visiting Phoenix. During their recent 5-2 surge, the Wizards picked up a 126-114 victory over the Bulls at home after dropping the first two meetings.
TIME: 7 p.m. ET. TV: NBCS Washington, NBCS Chicago
ABOUT THE WIZARDS (20-34): Bradley Beal scored 26 points Friday night but needed 28 shots to get there, making 1-of-10 from 3-point range and turning the ball over six times. He is shooting 26.8 percent from beyond the arc in February after hitting 35.1 percent in January. The league's fifth-best scorer (29.1 points per game) entering Saturday, Beal finished with 30 points on 12-of-23 from the field in the win over Chicago earlier this month.
ABOUT THE BULLS (19-38): The bright spot Saturday was the career-high 33-point effort by rookie guard Coby White, who hit 7-of-13 from 3-point range. White entered Saturday averaging 11.1 points but he has at least 11 in seven of his last nine games, including 14 to go along with seven assists and a career high-tying four steals in the recent loss to the Wizards. Fellow guard Zach LaVine is averaging 19.5 points on 38.1 percent shooting in two games since the All-Star break after posting an average of 36.5 points on 61.9 percent from the floor in the final two contests prior to the intermission.
1. Smith tied his season high with nine assists in the win over the Bulls on Feb. 11.
2. Chicago PF Thaddeus Young has recorded four steals in each of his last two games.
3. Beal needs 34 points to pass Jeff Malone (11,083) and move into second place on the franchise's all-time scoring list.