The Wizards closed out the Bulls in game 5 at the United Center, winning 75-69 to advance to the second round for the first time since 2005. The Wizards dominated the Bulls on their home court, getting all three of the games that were played in Chicago. This one was a defensive slog, the lowest scoring contest of the series by far, in which the Wizards shot 40.5% and the Bulls a paltry 33.3%. Buckets were very tough to come by down the stretch as both defenses played very tough. The two teams combined for just 31 fourth quarter points. The Wizards controlled the glass late though, grabbing six offensive boards in the final two minutes to keep Chicago from clawing their way back in. The Wizards won the rebounding battle overall 49-43, and also outrebounded Chicago on the offensive end, an area where Chicago had dominated for most of the series.
Beal, Wall and Nene led the offensive charge for Washington, scoring 61 of the Wizards' 75 points. Wall led all scorers with 24 points, Nene returned from him one game suspension to score 20 and Beal had 17. While Gortat only had two points, he pulled down 13 rebounds and blocked three shots. He, along with Booker and Nene also helped to hold the Bulls front line to just 10/30 shooting. The Bulls in general were 9/27 in the paint.
The Bulls were led by their starting backcourt tandem of Jimmy Butler and Kirk Hinrich who had 16 points each. Joakim Noah had a big game on the glass, finishing with 18 boards, six points and seven assists.
The Wizards now wait for the winner of the Pacers and Hawks series, which the Hawks currently lead three games to two. The Wizards would open at home against the eighth seeded Hawks or on the road against the number one seeded Pacers.
The final 20 seconds decided game 5. With 18 seconds to go and the Wizards up three, Jimmy Butler missed a layup, and Andre Miller was fouled. Miller missed both free throws but Nene grabbed the offensive board. Beal was then fouled, made the first, missed the second, and Nene once again grabbed the offensive board. Wall hit his two free throws to ice it and the Wizards were headed to round two.
Player of the Game
It was a complete team effort, but Nene, fresh off of his one game suspension, dominated in the paint for Washington. He had 20 points on 10/17 shooting, seven boards, four assists and a steal and a block.
69. The 69 points that Washington held Chicago was the Bulls' lowest scoring game of the year.
Gortat had just two points, but was fantastic on the defensive end and on the glass. Gortat had 13 boards (four on the offensive end), three blocks and was a game-high +9.
By: Jacob Raim