Thomas, Miller lift Bulls over WizardsOct 24, 2009 - 3:59 AM By ANDREW SELIGMAN AP Sports Writer
CHICAGO(AP) -- Antawn Jamison is out with an injury and Gilbert Arenas isn't sure how the Washington Wizards will respond. He's taking a wait-and-see approach.
"I don't know," he said. "We haven't played a regular game without him."
The Wizards have played plenty without their stars in recent years, and if they want to reverse a losing trend, they'll have to do better than this.
Tyrus Thomas scored 19 points, Brad Miller added 18 and the Chicago Bulls overcame a poor start to beat Washington 93-70 on Friday night in the preseason finale for both teams.
The Wizards announced Jamison will likely miss the first eight to 13 games of the season because of his ailing shoulder, then watched their other two stars, Arenas and Caron Butler, struggle in an ugly loss to a short-handed team.
The Bulls were without point guards Derrick Rose (ankle) and Kirk Hinrich (left elbow) yet managed to pull this one out - despite missing 16 of their first 18 shots - thanks to a dominant effort by the frontcourt.
"It is great for us," Thomas said. "We have to do that just to make a statement, period, preseason or not, just to let people know this is what we plan on doing every night."
Miller provided a big spark, ending the first quarter with a long jumper and 3-pointer shortly after he checked in, and finished with seven assists and six rebounds. Thomas scored 12 points in the second quarter as Chicago grabbed a 41-39 lead, and the Bulls broke it open with a 17-0 run in the third.
Joakim Noah added 13 points and 16 rebounds for Chicago (6-2), while John Salmons scored 14 points and Taj Gibson finished with 13.
"We are deeper, more versatile," coach Vinny Del Negro said. "We have continuity that needs to be built. That will come when we get our whole group together."
The Wizards (4-4) got a solid effort from Andray Blatche (14 points) but little from their two active stars. Arenas scored 15 points on 3-of-12 shooting, although he was still slowed by the flu that kept him out of the previous two games, and Butler went 2 of 9 for six points. For all the shots the Bulls missed early on, Washington was just as bad while going 2 of 15 and getting outscored 27-12 in the third quarter.
"You know what happens when you miss shots?" Wizards coach Flip Saunders asked. "That sucks the energy out of you. At one time, we were shooting 9 percent in the third quarter. When you're shooting that bad, you're always back in transition."
The Bulls were leading 48-46 lead when Gibson buried an 18-footer just under 5 minutes into the second half to start the decisive run. Noah followed with a hook shot and layup, and Salmons capped the burst with a fastbreak layup that made it 65-46 with 2:25 left.
The Bulls open Thursday against San Antonio, and Rose expects to be ready. He had been hoping to play in this game.
Sidelined since the first preseason game by an inflamed tendon behind his right ankle, Rose practiced on Thursday but Del Negro decided to take a cautious approach with the reigning Rookie of the Year.
The Wizards will have to wait a little longer on Jamison.
He dislocated his right shoulder against Cleveland last week, another blow for a franchise that's been hit hard by injuries the past three seasons. Although Jamison was healthy last season, Arenas and Brendan Haywood barely played and the Wizards limped to a 19-63 mark. They will be short-handed again heading into the opener Tuesday at Dallas.
"They got injured players, too, so we'll see what happens Tuesday. We don't know who's injured until Tuesday comes. (Jamison) might play," Arenas said.
Arenas might not have realized Jamison is out for a few weeks, but he's familiar with the view from the sideline. He's ready to open the season after playing just 15 regular-season games over the past two years.
"When you get something taken away from you that you love, you want to go and just do it again," Arenas said.
NOTES: With Rose and Hinrich out, 38-year-old Lindsey Hunter started at point guard and missed all six shots. ... The Bulls were also missing G Jannero Pargo (lower back). ... Randy Foye scored 11 points for Washington.
CHICAGO 93 FINAL
Oct 23 10:23 PM
CHICAGO 68 END, 3RD QTR
Oct 23 9:51 PM
CHICAGO 41 HALFTIME
Oct 23 9:05 PM
CHICAGO 15 END, 1ST QTR
Oct 23 8:36 PM
- Wizards All-Star guard John Wall undergoes knee surgery May 5
- New coach Brooks: Focus is on Wizards players, not Durant Apr 27
- Washington announces Scott Brooks as Wizards next head coach Apr 26
- Durant: Happy ex-coach Brooks back in NBA, focused on Mavs Apr 22
- AP Sources: Scott Brooks to be Washington Wizards next coach Apr 21
- Timberwolves hire Thibodeau as coach/president, Layden is GM Apr 20
- APNewsBreak: Timberwolves talking with Mark Jackson Apr 19
- Steve Kerr enjoying the ride watching Warriors make history Apr 14
- After awful season, Suns may well retain Watson as coach Apr 14
- Changes could be in store for Bulls after rough season Apr 14
- Hornets look for first playoff win in 14 seasons vs. Heat Apr 14
- Wizards president Grunfeld stays, fires coach Wittman Apr 14