CHICAGO -- Two weeks ago, the Washington Bullets played their starters against the Chicago Bulls' reserves and barely squeezed out an overtime victory. Last night, playing before the home fans at the new United Center, the Bulls gave a truer account of themselves.
Going with mainly their front-line players throughout the evening, the Bulls defeated the Bullets, 108-96, before a sellout crowd.
The Bullets ended their preseason 2-5. Coming off a win over the New York Knicks on Friday, the Bullets were looking for a preseason sweep over the Bulls. Instead, Washington found itself trailing by as many as 13 in the first quarter and by 15 at halftime.
Kevin Duckworth scored 10 of Washington's first 16 points to start the third quarter, and the Bullets three times got as close as four points.
But aside from Duckworth's 6-for-6 from the field in the quarter, the rest of the team struggled -- combining to hit three of 18 shots.
"We did a good job defensively in the second half," said Bullets coach Jim Lynam. "We went through a stretch where we didn't make our shots, so it's important that you get back defensively."
Duckworth led the Bullets with 25 points, on 10-for-13 from the field, and 13 rebounds.
"He's had a good preseason," Lynam said. "He worked extremely hard in the summer, and I knew he was coming back in good condition."
Duckworth passed a lot of the credit to guard Scott Skiles, acquired in an off-season trade.
"We have a point guard [Skiles] who gets me the ball," he said. "That makes my job a lot easier."
Bullets forward Calbert Cheaney sat out his second straight game with a sore foot.