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Wizards top Bulls to take 3-1 series lead

Washington,  DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Trevor Ariza poured in a playoff career- 
high  30 points and  the Washington Wizards claimed a 3-1 series lead over the 
Chicago Bulls with a 98-89 Game 4 win on Sunday at Verizon Center. 

John  Wall  tallied 15 points  with 10 assists,  while Bradley Beal and Marcin 
Gortat  scored  18 and 17 points,  respectively. Ariza hit six of Washington's 
eight 3-pointers in the triumph. 

"I  think we just  did a great job putting pressure on them defensively," said 
Wall.  "Trevor  did a great  job of getting  himself going, making shots early 
on." 

The Wizards led by as many as 23 points and never trailed. 

Taj  Gibson's 32 points on 13-of-16 shooting weren't enough for Chicago, which 
will  need  a home win  in Tuesday's  Game 5 to  extend this series. The Bull
dropped  each of the first two games at home. Joakim Noah scored 10 points and 
grabbed 15 rebounds in the setback. 

The  Wizards  were scorching  hot in  the early going,  making 7-of-8 shots to 
start the game to claim a 14-0 lead. 

Jimmy Butler's one-dribble pull-up jumper from the left wing finally broke the 
seal  for Chicago 7:48.  Butler added another jump shot and Noah made two over 
the  first eight minutes, but the Bulls still trailed 20-8 and didn't score at 
the rim until Gibson's putback layup at 3:34. 

"We thought the mistakes we were making we could correct, but at this point we 
haven't,"  said  Kirk Hinrich. "They've been  a really good first quarter team 
all year. We knew that coming into the series. We just haven't done a good job 
of handling it." 

Gibson  was  a major  spark off the  bench, helping to  lead Chicago back with 
eight  of the Bulls'  18 first quarter points in just 3 minutes and 46 seconds 
on  the floor. The Bulls were back within six after Gibson fueled a 14-7 run, 
however  the  Wizards scored the  last four in the  period and led 28-18 after 
one. 

Martell Webster netted four straight for Washington to open the second. A 10-0 
run  had the Bulls back within four, but Wall re-energized Washington with an 
alley-oop  feed to Webster and a short jumper. After Gibson's layup, Beal's 3- 
ball highlighted a 7-0 Washington surge to make it 45-32. 

Ariza  hit a  pair of 3-pointers in the  final 2 1/2 minutes of the half, with 
his corner triple at the buzzer boosting the Wizards to a 55-40 advantage. 

The  margin hovered between  10 and 20 during the third period and extended to 
85-62 when Beal started the fourth with a 3-pointer. 

Chicago's  offense came  alive for the first  time all game after that. It was 
87-66  when Hinrich started a 10-0 sprint with a mid-range jumper. Butler then 
hit  a 3-pointer  around two Gibson buckets  and Noah split a pair at the foul 
line.  Trevor  Booker, who  started for  the suspended  Nene, countered with a 
putback, but D.J. Augustin found the range from deep to cut it to 10 with 4:49 
to play. 

Gibson's  jumper from  the left wing at  2:03 had the Bulls within eight. Wall 
penetrated at the other end and dumped off a pass for a Gortat dunk to restore 
a  double-digit margin,  and Gortat did the  same for an Ariza jam to seal the 
outcome. 

                                   Game Notes 

Nene  was suspended one game for his role in an altercation with Butler in the 
fourth  quarter of  Game 3 ... Washington  turned the ball over just six times 
and  outscored  Chicago 16-2  in  transition  ...Chicago's reserves  outscored 
Washington's, 42-10 ... Butler scored 16 points. 

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