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Associated Press
Washington Wizards guard John Wall, center, goes up for a shot under pressure from Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer (5) and center Joakim Noah, right, during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Washington, Friday.

Wall leads Wizards over Bulls 96-93

WASHINGTON – John Wall had 23 points and 11 assists, and the Washington Wizards reached .500 for the third time this season with a 96-93 win over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night.

The Wizards had six players score in double figures in their third straight victory, two of them coming against Chicago. Bradley Beal and Martell Webster had 14 points apiece.

There were 12 lead changes and 11 ties. Washington took a 92-91 lead on Marcin Gortat’s layup with 4:28 to play.

With the Wizards ahead 96-93 with 1:06 to play, Chicago’s Joakim Noah threw a pass out of bounds, and teammate Taj Gibson missed a short jumper with 30 seconds left. As the clock wound down, Jimmy Butler tried a tying 3-pointer for the Bulls and Nene blocked it with less than a second to play.

The Bulls were held to just one field goal in the final 5:16. They missed eight of their last nine shots.

Kirk Hinrich led Chicago with 18 points, and D.J. Augustin scored 16. The Bulls had won six of seven, and were trying to reach .500 for the first time since Nov. 27.

Gortat had 13 points as Washington improved to 19-19 – the first time it’s been at .500 since Dec. 30.

Chicago played for the first time since their second triple-overtime game of the season, a win in Orlando on Wednesday.

The Wizards also played on Wednesday, and scored their most satisfying win of the season, a drubbing of two-time NBA champion Miami.

Washington shot 68.4 percent in the first quarter and led 30-27 after one. The Wizards also had a 54-50 lead at halftime.

Chicago went on a 14-2 run to take a 70-62 lead with 5:18 remaining in the third. But the Wizards responded with a 10-0 run that included an exciting shot by Wall.

The speedy point guard was grabbed by Mike Dunleavy on a drive. He spun and flipped the ball into the hoop with his left hand as he fell backward.

The game was tied at 74 after three.

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