CHICAGO (AP) — Bradley Beal came on strong late in regulation to finish with 26 points, Nene scored six of his 17 in overtime and the Washington Wizards beat the Chicago Bulls 101-99 Tuesday to take a 2-0 lead in their first-round series.
Washington rallied from 10 down in the fourth quarter after blowing a 17-point first-quarter lead.
Nene scored the first six points in overtime after being held in check by Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah in regulation, and the Wizards hung on after Kirk Hinrich failed to convert at the foul line in the closing seconds.
Noah had just hit two free throws when Beal missed a jumper with 18 seconds left. Jimmy Butler got the rebound and Chicago called time.
Hinrich, a 76-percent free throw shooter this season, had a chance to tie it after getting fouled by Nene on a drive with 2.4 seconds left. But his first attempt hit the rim. He deliberately missed the second, and Trevor Ariza grabbed the rebound to seal the win for Washington.
D.J. Augustin led Chicago with 25 points. Taj Gibson had 22 points and 10 rebounds. Noah added 20 points and 12 boards, but the Bulls will have to dig themselves out of a huge hole after dropping two at home.
John Wall had 16 points and seven assists for Washington.
The Bulls appeared to be in good shape up 87-77 five minutes into the fourth and were still leading 91-85 when Beal, quiet in the second half, shot the Wizards back into the game.
He nailed a 3-pointer that made it 91-88 and added a floater to make it a one-point game. Then, with a chance to put Washington ahead, he hit 1 of 2 free throws with 52.9 seconds left to tie it at 91.
Both teams had opportunities to win it in the closing seconds but couldn’t convert.
Augustin threw up an air ball, setting off a scramble that led to a jump ball between Gibson and Nene. Beal controlled the tip, but after a timeout, he missed an 18-footer along the baseline as time expired.
The Bulls were trailing 64-61 with just under six minutes left in the third when they went on an 8-1 run for their first lead of the game.
Mike Dunleavy Jr. put them ahead 65-64 with a jumper, and he capped that spurt with a layup that made it a four-point game with about four minutes left in the quarter.
The Bulls were leading 87-77 after a driving layup by Noah and two free throws by Butler with 6:59 left regulation.
NOTES: Dikembe Mutombo presented the Defensive Player of the Year award to Noah, who hoisted the trophy above his head to loud cheers before the game. … Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau had high praise for San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich and Phoenix’s Jeff Hornacek after they took the top two spots in the Coach of the Year vote. As for the guy who finished third? “He’s terrible,” he joked. Thibodeau, of course, took the third spot after guiding the Bulls to 48 wins. It might have been his best coaching job yet, with another knee injury curtailing Derrick Rose’s comeback and Luol Deng getting traded away. “I don’t really look at it that way,” Thibodeau said. “To me, I have a great group of guys that I work with every day.” … Wizards coach Randy Wittman on Noah being selected Defensive Player of the Year: “He’s had a great year for them. Well deserved. He’s the heart and soul of their team, and it’s a well-deserved award.”
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