- Associated Press - Monday, January 13, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) - The Washington Wizards are winning more on the road than they are at home. They can’t quite pinpoint why.

John Wall and Nene had 19 points apiece, Trevor Ariza scored 16 and the Wizards beat the Chicago Bulls 102-88 on Monday night.

“We just play more freely,” Marcin Gortat said. “We can focus in the hotel. In the locker room, we’re just sitting in one little room and trying to get ready for the game. I don’t know, at home there’s just too many rooms, too many places where you can go. Too many places where you can dance and sing.”

The Wizards led by 13 early in the fourth and hung on down the stretch after a 12-point lead was cut to five, snapping the Bulls‘ five-game win streak.

Nene scored eight points in the final period after getting the start, and Bradley Beal came on strong down the stretch to finish with 13. He hit a jumper and 3-pointer during a nine-point run that bumped Washington’s lead to 96-82 with about 3 minutes left.

Wall hit two jumpers during that spurt and had seven assists in the game.

Ariza hit a trio of 3-pointers and the Wizards shot 52 percent to come away with the win after dropping five of seven.

They’re 10-10 on the road and 7-9 at home, where they’ll play Miami on Wednesday.

“It’s kind of hurting us that we don’t play as a team at home,” Wall said. “We don’t come out with a sense of urgency and we get down early.”

But in this game it was exactly the opposite.

The Wizards never trailed. They led by as many as 15 in the second quarter and withstood several pushes by the Bulls in the second half.

“Everybody probably thought they were tanking and they were going to try to redo their team,” Wall said. “They’re still one of the best defensive teams in the league.”

Carlos Boozer scored 19 for Chicago and Joakim Noah grabbed 16 rebounds. But with a chance to reach .500 for the first time since November, the Bulls committed 18 turnovers. They also lost for the first time since trading Luol Deng to Cleveland last week, after winning three without him.

“Games like this humble you,” Taj Gibson said. “Right when you’re feeling too good about yourself, you’re feeling invincible, a team comes in there and smacks you, wakes you up to reality.”

Washington had no trouble getting inside in the early going and shot 59 percent while building a 56-43 halftime lead.

Story Continues →