The Wizards proved their youth and inexperience would not force
them to shrink in big moments when they recovered from a 10-point
fourth-quarter deficit to force overtime in Game 2 and have been
strong down the stretch in each of the first two contests. Beal
scored nine points during a regulation-ending 14-4 run to help force
overtime and Nene stepped up with six of his 17 points in overtime.
Chicago, which squandered a 13-point lead in Game 1, led the league
in scoring defense and finished second in field-goal percentage
defense during the regular season but is allowing the Wizards to
shoot 48.1 percent in the series.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN, CSN Chicago, CSN Mid-Atlantic (Washington)
ABOUT THE BULLS: Chicago is convinced that a few plays either way
would have turned the tide in its favor in the first two games and
are concentrating on small adjustments. "We've got to finish games," Taj Gibson told reporters.
"We watched the film and it came down to
us being a fingernail short every time. Guys were diving for the
ball and scrambling around. They just made some great plays.
Playoff-style basketball, I guess." Gibson was one of the bright
spots with 22 points and 10 rebounds in Game 2, combining with D.J.
Augustin (25 points) to form a potent combination off the bench.
ABOUT THE WIZARDS: Beal knocked down a pair of key 3-pointers in the
final minutes of regulation and went 4-of-7 from beyond the arc in
Game 2 after failing to connect on a 3-pointer in Game 1. Wall
scored 16 points in each of the first two games and hit two free
throws in overtime of Game 2 that provided just enough cushion to
give Washington the win. "I think we're definitely more locked in,"
forward Trevor Ariza told reporters. "I think we're paying more
attention to detail in shootarounds and practice. We're talking
more. Communication is a big part of being a good team, and (Wall
and Beal), they're maturing."
[to top of second column]
Bulls C Joakim Noah posted a double-double in each of the first
Washington struggled to 16-of-28 from the free-throw line in Game
Chicago G Jimmy Butler played all 53 minutes of Game 2 after
going 44 minutes in Game 1.
PREDICTION: Bulls 95, Wizards 92
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.