This was a familiar tale for the Chicago Bulls as yet again the defense couldn’t bail out shockingly poor offense.
Taj Gibson scored a career-high 32 points and it didn’t really matter – no other Bull scored more than 16 points. Gibson finished 13-16 from the field.
Chicago shot 35-78 from the floor including 4-19 from behind the three-point line as they failed to score more than 22 points in three of the four quarters.
Washington was once again dominant, flying out to a 14-0 lead, forcing the Bulls into an early timeout. Chicago failed to score on it’s first eight possessions, missing six shots and turning the ball over twice.
Turnovers were a theme for the night. Washington turned the ball over just six times all night, compared to 16 for the Bulls.
Trevor Ariza scored 30 points. In a playoff game. This really happened. He hit his first six three-point attempts and finished 10-18 from the floor.
Bradley Beal continued to be an issue running around screens set by Washington’s big men. John Wall was his usual self on the fastbreak.
The Wizards went up by 20 in the third quarter before the Bulls went on a run to make the game slightly interesting before the Wizards closed out the game.
Carlos Boozer became a foul machine in the third quarter – collecting five fouls in just 3:30 before collecting his usual zero fourth-quarter minutes.
The Bulls now must head home for a win-or-bust Game 5. Despite the Bulls well-known resilience and will to win, there is no way to fix a simple lack of offensive talent.
Taj Gibson can score a career-high in game five, but if the team cannot reliably score for 48 minutes, the Wizards will once again come out on top.
Performances like tonight’s do little to quell the growing rumors that the Bulls will pursue Carmelo Anthony this summer, and there is very little in the way of on-court evidence to show why they shouldn’t.
Trevor Ariza: 30 points, 10-18 FGS, 6-10 3FGS
Bradley Beal: 18 points, 7-13 FGS, 5 rebounds
Marcin Gortat: 17 points, 6-17 FGS, 6 rebounds
Taj Gibson: 32 points, 13-16 FGS, 7 rebounds
Jimmy Butler: 16 points, 5-14 FGS, 2-7 3FGS
Joakim Noah: 10 points, 4-9 FGS, 15 rebounds