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Reply To: NBA • Wednesday Service Plays • 2/24/16

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Preview: Washington At Chicago

When: 8:00 PM ET, Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Where: United Center, Chicago, Illinois

Derrick Rose has put together three outstanding performances in a row while averaging 26 points and it couldn’t have come at a better time for the injury-hampered Chicago Bulls. Rose, who has struggled with health throughout the last few seasons, looks to stay hot and lead the Bulls to their third consecutive victory Wednesday when they host the Washington Wizards.

With All-Star guard Jimmy Butler (knee) and starting forward Nikola Mirotic (appendicitis) out, Rose made 31-of-54 from the field the last three contests. “I’m a little more efficient as far as shooting,” Rose told the Chicago Tribune. “I feel like I’m getting to spots I want to get to on the floor instead of settling. And I love the way I’m pushing the ball.” Rose will be tested against fellow guard John Wall and the Wizards, who have won three of four games after a 109-89 triumph against New Orleans on Tuesday. Wall, a three-time All Star, comes in off his second triple-double of the season and fifth of his career as Washington trails Chicago and Charlotte by three games for the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.

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

ABOUT THE WIZARDS (26-29): Marcin Gortat registered 21 points and 11 rebounds Tuesday for his seventh double-double in eight games while the 6-11 center has shot at least 50 percent from the field in 11 of the last 12 contests. Bradley Beal cooled off against New Orleans with nine points on 3-for-10 shooting after averaging 19.7 on 51.5 percent from the field since Feb. 1. Gary Neal (leg) was a late scratch Tuesday, missing his sixth consecutive game, while Jared Dudley drained a season-high six 3-pointers.

ABOUT THE BULLS (29-26): Chicago has gotten other strong contributions with Butler (22.4 points) and Mirotic (10.6) out and has responded well after going through a 1-7 stretch that put its playoff hopes in jeopardy. Pau Gasol (17.1 points, 10.8 rebounds) has also been solid, but missed practice due to the flu Tuesday, while Doug McDermott scored 46 combined in his past two outings. Guard E’Twaun Moore has taken advantage of extra playing time, scoring 24 against the Los Angeles Lakers last time out.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Wizards have taken five of the last seven meetings, including a 114-100 triumph on Jan. 11 in which they placed seven in double figures.

2. Chicago rookie F Bobby Portis scored in double figures four times in the last six games after accomplishing the feat in six of his first 29.

3. Washington F Markieff Morris is averaging 5.7 points on 7-of-23 shooting in three games since being acquired from Phoenix.

PREDICTION: Bulls 101, Wizards 95