CHICAGO – The fading Washington Wizards were going against a struggling team missing two of its top players. It’s fair to say their latest loss had a little extra sting.
Lauri Markkanen had 32 points and 13 rebounds, Kris Dunn scored a season-high 26 – including eight in overtime – to go with 13 assists, and the short-handed Bulls beat the Wizards, 126-120, on Wednesday night.
“They were hungry,” Washington’s Bradley Beal said.
Markkanen nailed five 3-pointers, including a key shot beyond the arc in overtime. Dunn hit two 3-pointers in OT, and converted a pair of free throws near the end to make it a six-point game.
Shaquille Harrison scored 18. Cristiano Felicio added 15 points, and the Bulls won their second straight after dropping five in a row, despite leading scorer Zach LaVine (bruised right thigh, right knee tendinitis) and Otto Porter Jr. (strained right rotator cuff) not playing because of injuries.
Jabari Parker led Washington with 28 points against his former team. Beal scored 27 and hit the tying jumper in the closing seconds of regulation. But the Wizards went 0 for 6 from the field in OT, losing for the third time in four games.
“They didn’t get a field goal?” Dunn said. “That’s what I like to hear. That’s what I like to hear. Great team defense.”
Tied at 113 through four quarters, the Bulls went on an 8-2 run to start overtime, with Robin Lopez hitting two foul shots and Dunn nailing two 3-pointers. It was 121-117 with a minute left when Dunn missed two free throws.
Beal then missed the first and made the final two free throws after getting fouled on a 3, cutting the lead to two. But Markkanen nailed a 3 from the top of the key to make it 124-119 with 32.3 seconds remaining.
Parker then put up an airball on the second attempt after making the first free throw, and Dunn hit two foul shots to make it 126-120 with 19.5 seconds left.
Markkanen insisted a blow to the face he took from Portis in the final minute of regulation while trying to score down low was unintentional.
Markkanen made two free throws to extend the Bulls’ lead to 112-109 with 50 seconds left. Portis got called for a flagrant foul.
“I actually haven’t seen the play yet, but I don’t believe it was intentional,” Markkanen said. “I don’t think he’s like that. The thing about Bobby is that he just always plays so hard so stuff happens.”