D.J. Augustin and Kirk Hinrich with 16 points apiece were among seven Chicago players in double figures, but the Bulls came up short against the visiting Washington Wizards in a 102-93 Game 1 loss on Sunday night.
Joakim Noah added a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds for Chicago, which will host Game 2 on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. CT.
Chicago led 54-48 at halftime after outscoring Washington 32-24 in the second quarter. Augustin and Taj Gibson (12 points) as usual were solid contributors off the bench, combining for 20 points in the first half.
After going scoreless in that first half, Mike Dunleavy came to life in the third as the Bulls opened the quarter on a 10-3 run. Dunleavy scored eight of those 10 and finished with 11 in the quarter.
But the Wizards countered in the fourth, outscoring the Bulls 30-18 to seal the victory and take home court advantage away from Chicago.
Nene was a presence for Washington, recording 24 points and eight rebounds. Marcin Gortat added a double-double of 15 points and 13 rebounds. Though the backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal combined for 29 points, the duo shot a combined 7-25 from the field.