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Reply To: NBA • Monday Service Plays • 1/11/16

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Preview: Washington At Chicago

When: 8:00 PM ET, Monday, January 11, 2016
Where: United Center, Chicago, Illinois

Just when it was beginning to look like the Chicago Bulls were becoming a consistently dominating team, they turned in one of their worst performances. The Bulls will try to bounce back and earn a seventh win in eight games when they host the Washington Wizards on Monday.

Chicago knocked off the Toronto Raptors (twice), the Indiana Pacers, the New York Knicks and the Boston Celtics during their winning streak but could not survive another Eastern Conference playoff contender in a 120-105 loss at the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday. “They rocked us right away, hit us with a right-hand hook, stumbled us,” Bulls forward Taj Gibson told ESPN.com. “We didn’t respond early. They made a good run, and it’s always hard to fight back the whole game.” The Wizards are trying to find some consistency themselves after losing five of their last seven games. Washington snapped a three-game slide with a 105-99 triumph at Orlando on Saturday and has gone over 100 points in two of its last four games while failing to reach 90 in the other two contests.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, CSN Mid-Atlantic (Washington), CSN Chicago

ABOUT THE WIZARDS (16-19): Washington’s recent spate of injuries has put more pressure on point guard John Wall, and the reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Month has mostly been up to the challenge. Wall recorded 24 points and 10 assists on Saturday for his 10th double-double in the last 12 games but also committed seven turnovers. The former No. 1 overall pick could benefit from the healthy return of shooting guard Bradley Beal (stress fracture), who is reportedly a week or two away from returning to the lineup.

ABOUT THE BULLS (22-13): Chicago surrendered 64 points in the first half on Saturday, and coach Fred Hoiberg was disappointed in his team’s effort. “They were getting whatever they wanted out there,” Hoiberg told reporters. “They had 30 in the first, 34 in the second. That’s just too many. They got every 50-50 ball. All the energy, hustle plays, they beat us in the first half.” The setback dropped the team to 6-8 on the road, and the Bulls will play 12 of their next 15 away from home after finishing up with Washington.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Wizards F Otto Porter Jr. is 16-of-26 from the field in the last three games.

2. Bulls C Joakim Noah (shoulder) could return on Monday after missing the last nine games.

3. The teams split four meetings last season, with Washington grabbing one victory in Chicago.

PREDICTION: Bulls 101, Wizards 89