WASHINGTON – Bulls forward Zach LaVine offered blunt advice to teammates as they rallied against the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.
“It just seemed like a real ugly game,” LaVine said. “I just kept telling them, ‘Hey, man, it’s an ugly game, might as well get ugly with them.’”
Wendell Carter Jr. made a layup with 9.1 seconds left in overtime, completing the Bulls’ comeback from an 18-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the Wizards, 110-109.
LaVine capped a 21-3 Bulls run with three free throws that tied the game at 96 with 5.5 seconds left in the fourth. Bradley Beal hit a jumper with 0.5 seconds remaining to put Washington ahead, 98-96, but LaVine was fouled on the ensuing inbound play and hit two free throws to force OT.
“It showed that our identity should be like that for the rest of the year,” former Wizards player and current Bulls guard Tomas Satoransky said. “We won thanks to our defense.”
Lauri Markkanen’s alley-oop basket gave the Bulls their first lead since the first quarter, 106-105, with 1:47 left in overtime.
Beal’s two free throws put Washington back on top, and Isaiah Thomas’ two foul shots made it 109-106 with 53 seconds left. Carter, aided by a lane violation by Washington, made two free throws with 40 seconds to go and scored the winner after Beal’s miss.
Beal missed another jumper at the buzzer.
“Felt good,” Beal said. “I got an open shot over a small defender. It was just short.”
Markkanen had 31 points and nine rebounds, and LaVine added 24 points.
Davis Bertans led Washington with 26 points, and Beal finished with 22 on 4-of-19 shooting from the field.
The Wizards led, 93-75, with 8:21 left in the fourth before Carter’s dunk started the Bulls’ spurt. LaVine’s 3-pointer pulled the Bulls within 96-93 with 1:33 remaining. LaVine scored 10 points in the final three minutes of the quarter.
“Just didn’t execute like we did to get us the lead, and I think that hurt us.” Thomas said. “We played like we were stalling, playing against the shot clock and hoping to make the shot at the end of the shot clock.”
In his return to Washington, Satoransky had 17 points.
Washington led by six at halftime, and Beal and Thomas combined for three 3-pointers in a 9-2 run that gave the Wizards a 74-61 lead midway through the third quarter.
Starting them up: The Bulls’ reserves were outscored by Washington’s bench, 35-14. “Trying to find a lineup that would work, that could get some juice going, and we went back with our starters. ... They battled, they made simple plays, they hung in there,” Bulls coach Jim Boylen said after his starting five all played 34 minutes or more.
Tip-ins: Satoransky was the subject of a video tribute during the first quarter. ... Carter picked up a flagrant foul in the fourth quarter. He had nine points and nine rebounds. ... The Bulls have seven straight games with at least five blocks. ... The Bulls have won three straight versus Washington for the first time since a seven-game streak from April 2, 2010 to Jan. 30, 2012.
Tip-ins: The Bulls visit the Detroit Pistons on Saturday.