WASHINGTON -- The Chicago Bulls are struggling enough defensively these last few games that giving opponents points is recipe for disaster.
Then again, the three-point play John Wall converted after a third-quarter turnover is only a present for those who like spectacular highlights. What Wall did -- flipping the ball blindly over his head as Mike Dunleavy pulled him down -- will be repeated for ages.
The Wizards prevailed, 96-93, on Friday night at Verizon Center, scoring 25 points off 15 Bulls' turnovers. Still, the Bulls had a chance for their fifth straight road victory.
But they managed just six points in the final 7 minutes, 33 seconds, and Nene blocked Jimmy Butler's 3-point attempt at the buzzer off a broken play.
Coming out of a timeout with 10.4 seconds left, Dunleavy, who had forced an overtime session against the Magic on Wednesday in Orlando with a clutch 3-pointer, caught the inbounds pass but felt too crowded to shoot. Butler caught Dunleavy's pass, dribbled to try to create space, but Nene didn't bite.
"I got open," Dunleavy said. "(But) we were a little too close to the sideline and I thought the inbounder's guy jumped to me so I didn't have a shot. I passed it to Jimmy. Unfortunately, we weren't able to get a good enough shot on that possession.
"With 10 seconds left, it's different than having like two or three where you just want to get a look. Ten seconds is a lot of time. You can get a two there. I just wasn't going to chuck one up."
D.J. Augustin, who had shot well scoring 16 points in 19 minutes with four 3-pointers, sat on the bench after tweaking his ankle when he tripped over a ballboy after shooting a fadeaway midway through the fourth.
"We were going with that group," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "I thought they were giving us a good chance defensively. I thought Kirk (Hinrich) was going pretty good. And with Wall and the way they have size on the perimeter, it's hard to play two small guys. But I did think about (inserting Augustin), yeah."
Wall's 23 points and 11 assists led six Wizards in double figures. At 50.6 percent Wizards' shooting, the Bulls allowed a third straight opponent to top 50 percent.
"We have to play a lot better defensively," Thibodeau said.
Hinrich's 18 points led the Bulls, who failed for a second time to reach .500 for the first time since sitting at 7-7 on Nov. 27. Joakim Noah extended his double-digit rebounding streak to 11 games with 12 boards, but the Bulls were outrebounded.
Tony Snell had to leave the game in the fourth when he knocked knees with a fan chasing a loose ball. Both he and Augustin said they would play Saturday when the 76ers visit.
"When we broke the lineup at the end of the third, I think they went on an 8-0 (run)," Thibodeau said. "In the fourth, when (Bradley) Beal came back in, he got loose on us. But the biggest problem was our turnovers."
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