Coby White impressive in Bulls win over Wizards


by - Staff Writer -
Coby White showed off some of his potential (Kamil Krzaczynski - USA Today Sports)
Coby White showed off some of his potential (Kamil Krzaczynski - USA Today Sports)

Not only had the Chicago Bulls lost eight straight, but they had yet to win a game in February, entering Sunday's contest against the Washington Wizards (20-35). With a chance to take the season series 3-1 with a victory, the Bulls (20-38) rode another fine performance from Coby White off the bench who dropped 33 for the second straight game as Chicago was able to withstand a 53- point Bradly Beal performance to pick up their first February win 126-117.

With Luke Kornet adding the Bulls injury plaque, it was Daniel Gafford getting the start as he opened the scoring for the Bulls with an easy layup. That was about all the excitement for Chicago in the early stages as Rui Hachimura and Ian Mahinmi helped the Wizards race out to a quick 9-2 lead. Zach Lavine and Thaddeus Young responded with threes of their own, but with Beal connecting for a pair of his own, the Bulls remained down seven at 15-8.

Young continued the hot shooting from deep for the Bulls yet another three cut things to 15-11 before the White and Lavine show started to begin. Down by four following buckets from Beal, Ish Smith, and Moritz Wagner, White went off to score the Bulls final 14 points of the quarter to finish with 16 overall as Chicago surged in front 35-31 following their slow start.

The second quarter started as nearly a carbon copy of the first with Jerome Robinson getting the Wizards on the board first before Gafford responded with the Bulls' first bucket inside. Still leading by two after a Thomas Bryant bucket, Tomas Satoransky got to the rim before Gafford went inside again to give the Bulls their largest lead of the night thus far 41-35.

Just when it looked as if the Bulls were going to start to take things over, Davis Bertans connected from deep as Bryant followed with a quick two to cut things back to 41-40. Consecutive three's from Lavine pushed the lead back to seven as he, and Beal was responsible for the game's next 11 points. A thunderous Satoransky dunk put the Bulls up double digits, but the Wizards answered with Beal and Bertans to keep things close.

Up 58-50 late in the second, it was time for the White show once again as he looked to close out a successful first half on a strong note. After closing out the first with 14 straight, White was responsible for 10 of the team's final 15 points, including seven straight at one point as the Bulls held a 73-58 lead at the half. Ryan Arcidiacono and Satoransky added the other five points during that late second-quarter surge.

Despite losing eight straight entering the night, the Bulls are no strangers to holding the lead at the half as they have blown five second-half leads during this stretch. Hoping to avoid that trend in this one, Lavine came out of the locker room on fire, dropping the first seven of the half to push the lead to 80-58 Chicago. Young answered that with a three of his own as the Bulls opened the third on a 10-0 run.

Smith briefly silenced the crowd with a three to end that run, but the Bulls still maintained a lead of 19 much of the early going. Up 20 now following a nice bucket from Young, Beal, and Bertans were leading the way as they were responsible for 11 of the Wizards next 13 points closing the gap to 90-81. A Christian Felicio layup and Young three pushed things back to 95-81 as the Bulls maintained control through three 101-85.

Knowing the Wizards would need to play near perfect in the fourth, if they wanted to win, Chicago turned to White and Satoransky in the early stages, but Washington countered with Beal and Bertans once more to keep things at 15. Following the Shaq Harrison acrobatic tip shot to put the Bulls back up 13, Beal was a one-person wrecking crew, as he capped off the game with a game-high 53 points, including 19 of his teams final 23 on the night.

The only problem was Washington couldn't stop the Bulls offense as they played the best they have in quite some time. Up 107-100, after the Washington surge, Lavine went into full attack mode with two very impressive dunks. Add in a Satoransky three, and another angry Gafford dunk saw the Bulls regain a double-digit lead with the score 115-105. It was the Lavine show the rest of the way, as the fourth quarter was by his best of the night as he was responsible for 12 points in the quarter helping the Bulls hold off the Wizards 126-117 for their first win in eight games and first win in February.

For the second straight game, it was the rookie White coming off the bench to lead the way as he dropped 33 points.

Add in the 32 from Lavine, and the Bulls had a terrific one-two punch offensively. Young continued his steady play in the starting lineup, picking up 23 with Satoransky (15) and Gafford (10) adding double figures of their own.

Beal continues his marvelous season as he carried the load for the Wizards with a game-high 53. Bertans provided a big lift off the bench with 22 of his own, but those were the only two players to have more than 12 points on the night with Smith and Hachimura adding ten each in the loss.

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