The Washington Wizards’ front court proved to be just too big to handle, pounding the Chicago Bulls en route to a 102-93 win in the opener of a first-round Eastern Conference series on April 20 in Chicago.

No. 4 seed Chicago played tough defense and was able to generate offense off of turnovers to keep the score tight for most of the game. But the heavy front court of No. 5 seed Washington eventually wore down the Bulls, helping the Wizards pull away late.

Wizards power forward Nene Hilario led Washington with a game-high 24 points and eight rebounds. Seven-foot-tall center Marcin Gortat also played well against Chicago with a double-double of 15 points and 13 rebounds. Wizards star guard John Wall had 16 points with six assists and forward Trevor Ariza added 18 for Washington; veteran point guard Andre Miller scored 10 points off the bench.

Bulls center Joakim Noah had a double-double of 10 points with 10 rebounds, but struggled to defend Washington’s big men. Bulls guards Kirk Hinrich and D.J. Augustine each scored 16.

Chicago will host Washington again in Game 2 of the series on April 22. Tip off is scheduled for 9:30 p.m

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor