- Associated Press - Monday, April 16, 2012

CHICAGO — Kevin Seraphin had 21 points and 13 rebounds, John Wall scored 16 points, and the Washington Wizards beat the short-handed Chicago Bulls 87-84 on Monday night.

Richard Hamilton scored 22 points to lead the Bulls, who played without stars Derrick Rose and Luol Deng. Rose was out with a sore right foot as he missed his 24th game of the season, and Deng sat out due to sore right ribs.

After two straight games of clutch 3-pointers in the finals seconds to force overtime in wins against Miami and Detroit, the Bulls missed a third chance when Hamilton’s 3-pointer was blocked by James Singleton with 5.9 seconds left and C.J. Watson missed in the final seconds.

The Bulls‘ lead on Miami in the Eastern Conference dropped to 2½ games with five games remaining. The Heat beat New Jersey earlier Monday night.

Rose injured his foot in Sunday’s win at Detroit, when he bounced back from a dismal two-point performance against the Heat on Thursday by scoring 24 points and making a 3 in the final seconds to force overtime. Deng also injured his ribs Sunday.

Trailing 68-57 early in the fourth quarter, the Wizards got back in the game with a 13-0 run. Maurice Evans hit a jumper over Hamilton then he made a 3, Brian Cook tied the game at 68 with another 3 and Shelvin Mack’s jumper gave the Wizards a 70-68 lead.

Wall found Singleton for a dunk to put Washington up 82-77 with 1:40 left. Watson answered with a jumper for Chicago and then appeared to have a steal but referee Tony Brothers called a foul on Watson to the dismay of Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau.

After Wall made one of two at the line, Watson hit another jumper to get Chicago to 83-81. After Mack turned it over, the Bulls failed to take advantage, committing a turnover on the offensive end. Wall then made two free throws to put the Wizards up 85-81, but Watson made a 3 to get Chicago back within one with 16.5 left.

Evans finished with 14 points, 10 in the fourth quarter.

The Wizards led 43-40 at the half. Seraphin had 10 points and six rebounds in the first two quarters.

Boozer and Hamilton each had nine points for the Bulls.

Note: Before the game, the Wizards waived Roger Mason Jr. and signed guard Morris Almons. Mason underwent season-ending surgery to repair his fractured left index finger. He averaged 5.5 points per game.


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