The Chicago Bulls were upset in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference series against the Washington Wizards which caused some immediate panic from the fan base, but Chicago was eager to bounce back on their home court in Game 2 to even the series.
After a wild game that went down to the final second in overtime, the Wizards completed the road sweep to start the series, 101-109, and found themselves on top 2-0 in the series with the action shifting to Washington for Game 3.
The Bulls got off to another disappointing start as the Wizards jumped out to an early lead. At one point in the first quarter, the Bulls were down by as many as 17-points, but they were able to charge back in the second quarter to make things closer before the half.
Chicago was still trailing entering the third quarter, but they were doing a better job on the defensive side of the court and received a lift from D.J. Augustin to ignite the offseason and swing the momentum in their favor to the tune of a five-point lead heading in to the final quarter.
The Bulls defense continued to keep up their pressure, and forced the Wizards offense to lose any kind of rhythm.
Bradley Beal hit a huge three-pointer for the Wizards with under five minutes to go that brought Washington back within four-points. After Taj Gibson took the Bulls lead back to six, Beal hit his fourth three-pointer of the night to cut the lead down to three.
Beal continued his huge fourth quarter by picking off a pass from Joakim Noah and he followed up the forced turnover on the other end of the court with a runner to bring Washington within on. Washington was on a 13-4 run.
After a missed three from Kirk Hinrich, Beal drew a foul and converted one of two free throws to tie the game up with under a minute to go.
Chicago missed their first shot shot out of the time out, but the Bulls secured an offensive rebound before Nene tied up Gibson to force a jump ball with ten seconds remaining. Nene won the tip and the ball was controlled by Washington, who took a timeout with 8.3 seconds on the clock.
On the final play of regulation, Beal, who scored 9 of the Wizards last 11 points, attempted a shot over Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah that came up just short as we headed to overtime.
The Wizards got the early jump in overtime by scoring the first four points and swinging momentum in their favor. Nene kept the Wizards momentum rolling by shooting a fallback jumper to extend the lead to six.
Chicago continued to scrap throughout the overtime period, and an offensive foul on John Wall with just 38 seconds to go gave the Bulls an opportunity to find themselves within one possession of the Wizards. After two successful free throws from Noah, the Bulls were only trailing by two.
Beal missed a jumper in the final 20 seconds, which set up a game-tying opportunity for the Bull following a timeout.
Hinrich drove the ball to the hoop on the Bulls final possession and drew a foul on Nene. It was Nene’s sixth foul on the night and he was sent to the bench. Hinrich rimmed out his first free throw attempt and tried to intentionally miss his second shot, but the ball bounced to the Wizards and Washington came out on top, 101-99.