In a game that had just about everything, the Wizards escaped Chicago with 101-99 win in overtime to take both games in Chicago and grab a 2-0 series lead. The Wizards led by 17 early and trailed by 10 late but in the end had enough to escape United Center with a win. The Bulls looked poised to even the series with the double digit lead in the fourth quarter, but Bradley Beal took over, scoring nine of the Wizards last 11 to help them close regulation on a 14-4 run to force OT. In the extra session, Nene scored the first six but the Bulls fought back to make it a two point game with the ball on the final possession. Kirk Hinrich drew the foul with two seconds to go but missed both free throws (the second on purpose), and the Wizards had the victory.
While the Bulls controlled the interior and did a better job on Gortat and Nene, the Wizards' young backcourt of Beal and Wall led the charge. Beal led all scorers with 26 points while Wall had 16 points, seven assists and six boards. Nene did score 17 points, with six of those coming in the extra session. Washington shot 47.5% from the field compared to 43.2% for Chicago.
For the Bulls, Augustin was a difference maker, scoring 25 on 10/22 shooting, including 4/8. Gibson and Noah were responsible for the Bulls outrebounding the Wizards 49-42 (with 17 of those 49 coming on the offensive end) and outscoring them in the paint 44-22. Gibson finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds (nine on the offensive glass) and Noah had 22 points and 12 boards.
The Wizards now head home to DC with the commanding two games to zero series lead. Game three is Friday night at Verizon Center.
Let's go right to the final minute of the game. With the Wizards up six and under a minute to play, Joakim Noah drove to the rim for a tough finish to make it a four point game. On the ensuing inbounds play, Wall pushed off of Augustin to give the Bulls the ball back where Noah would get fouled and hit both free throws. Beal missed a 15 footer with 17 seconds to go and the Bulls got the ball back with a chance to tie or win. On the final possession, Hinrich drove to the rim and drew the foul. Hinrich would not be able to convert, as he missed the first, and then missed the second on purpose but Wall corralled the rebound to secure the win.
Player of the Game
Bradley Beal stepped up in a big way on the offensive end, leading all scorers with 26 points on 9/20 shooting, including 4/7 from long distance. Eleven of those points came in the fourth quarter. He also added seven boards, two assists, two steals and a block.
.481. Through two games, the Wizards are shooting 48.1%, compared to the 43% Chicago allowed during the regular season.
Trevor Ariza didn't score much (eight points), but his defensive effort was absolutely crucial. When Wittman switched Ariza on to Augustin, Augustin was shut down. Augustin had 25 points, but none of them came past the eight minute mark of the fourth quarter. Ariza also had seven boards, seven assists and finished as a game-high +14.
By: Jacob Raim