Bradley Beal’s leaning bank shot with 7.4 seconds left gave Washington a 102-100 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Friday night in its first home game since the star guard signed his massive new contract to stay with the Wizards. Washington blew a 17-point third-quarter lead in its home opener, but with the game tied at 100 and the shot clock running down, Bill’s shot went off the glass to give the Wizards the lead. Following a timeout, DeMar DeRozan’s 3-pointer for Chicago was just off the mark.
DeRozan had 32 points to lead all scorers and the Bulls nearly won their second straight game to start the season without Zach LaVine. DeRozan scored 37 in the opener against Miami. Instead, it was Washington that improved to 2-0. Kyle Kuzma scored 26 points and the Bills added 19 points.
The Wizards won 10 of their first 13 games under new coach Wes Unseld Jr. last season but were eliminated from the playoffs after a wrist problem ended Bill’s season early. He decided to return to Washington to a new five-year max contract.
The Bulls are still trying to manage LaVine’s left knee, which required surgery in May. It was the first of back-to-back games for Chicago, and the All-Star guard is expected to make his season debut in the back half against Cleveland.
Washington led 56-50 at halftime, and then Kuzma opened the third quarter with a pair of quick 3s. Beal dropped back to block a layup attempt by Ayo Dosunmu and that defensive play led to Denny Avdija’s 3-pointer that made it 65-50.
MOVING THE BALL
Beal had eight assists, increasing his career total to 2,715. He passed Rod Strickland (2,712) for third in franchise history.
Bulls: In addition to LaVine, Chicago was without Lonzo Ball (left knee). … Chicago went 27 of 33 on free throws while limiting the Wizards to only 11 attempts.
Wizards: Washington was without Corey Kispert (sprained left ankle) and Vernon Carey (concussion). … The Wizards shot 51.3% from the field but had 17 turnovers.
Bulls: Host Cleveland on Saturday night.
Wizards: At Cleveland on Sunday night.