WASHINGTON — First, Chris Paul. Then Derrick Rose. John Wall has erased a pair of major o-fers against two of the top point guards in the NBA.
Wall beat Rose head-to-head for the first time Friday night, getting 16 points and 12 assists in a 102-86 win over the Chicago Bulls.
The leader in All-Star votes among Eastern Conference guards snapped his 0-5 record when both he and Rose are on the court. It hasn't happened often because both have had serious injury problems. But Wall was definitely keeping track — just as he was last month when he ended his 0-6 history against Paul in a win over the Los Angeles Clippers.
"Didn't I finally beat Chris and Derrick this year?" Wall said with a smile. "It's a good year. It's a good start. It's finally good to beat them."
Rose was the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft in 2008, and Wall had the same honor two years later. The Wizards beat the Bulls in five games in a contentious first-round playoff series last year, which Rose missed because of a lengthy recovery from knee surgery.
"You can tell he worked on his game," Rose said. "Tonight, they jumped on us. It wasn't about the matchup, I would say. They jumped on us pretty quick from the beginning."
The Bulls missed 20 of their first 24 shots and trailed 30-10 before Tony Snell's 3-pointer in the final second of the first quarter. It was Chicago's worst output in an opening period this season.
Rose has been in a horrid shooting slump — 25.5 percent over his previous six games — and he went 8 for 19 and scored 19 points Friday night.
Rose shook his head emphatically — as if to say "No Way!" — after blocking Wall's attempt at a buzzer-beating jumper at the end of the first half. It would have carried more meaning if the Bulls weren't trailing by 17 at the time following a Wall-led run.
Rose gets his chance to start a new Wall streak in Chicago next week.
"We know they're going to hold this in their head," Wall said, "because we play them again Wednesday."
SCARY SCENE: In the fourth quarter, with the Bulls trailing by 10 and 3 minutes to play, Aaron Brooks knocked Wall hard to the floor with a high hit just as Wall was running to catch a long outlet pass — the type of play that draws a sure-fire 15-yard penalty in the NFL. Officials reviewed the video and decided not to upgrade the foul to a flagrant.
CHICAGO'S MINI-SLUMP: The Bulls have lost back-to-back games for the first time since late November. They were thumped by 20 points at home on Wednesday by the Utah Jazz.
"The way we're playing is bothersome, it's concerning," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "But you get into things together, and we've got to get out of things together."
PUSH AND SHOVE: No one was expecting a peaceful game, given the bad blood lingering from last year's playoffs and a nasty preseason game this season. It was likely remarkable that the only technical went to Chicago's Joakim Noah for kicking the ball.
"The NBA is about people having big tempers and ego. Me and Nene, we definitely have egos and tempers," Wizards center Marcin Gortat said. "We ain't going to let anyone come in here and punk us like that. ... We were waiting for this game."
Bulls: F Mike Dunleavy, who missed his fourth straight game with a right ankle injury, said he will have an MRI on Saturday.
Wizards: Gortat had 21 points and 13 rebounds for the Wizards, who have won three straight and now have a better record than the Bulls. ... F Kevin Seraphin, who represents France in international competitions, wore a dark T-shirt with the words "Je Suis Charlie" during warmups. Noah, whose father is former French tennis champion Yannick Noah, gave Seraphin an approving chest-tap at midcourt. The slogan has become a worldwide rally cry to show solidarity with Charlie Hebdo, a Paris weekly newspaper where 12 people were killed Wednesday in a terrorist attack.
Bulls: Host the Bucks on Saturday.
Wizards: Visit the Hawks on Sunday.
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