CHICAGO – This one looked like it was slipping away from the Washington Wizards. Then, in a flash everything changed.
Bradley Beal came on strong late in regulation to finish with 26 points, Nene scored six of his 17 points in overtime and the Wizards beat the Chicago Bulls 101-99 Tuesday to take a 2-0 lead in their first-round series. Game 3 is Friday at Washington.
“We’ve got to come out like we’re down 0-1 or 0-2,” said Beal, who scored 11 in the fourth quarter. “We’ve got to have that sense of urgency and just that drive and that motivation like we did early. We’ve got to be able to maintain that lead. We’ve got to continue to stay poised.”
The Wizards couldn’t maintain a 17-point first-quarter lead and had to rally from 10 down in the fourth.
Nene scored the first six points in overtime after being held in check by NBA 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 of overtime.
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.
“I went up there thinking I was going to knock them down,” Hinrich said. “Tonight, I just couldn’t do it. However, I really felt that I should’ve made the layup.”
Raptors 100, Nets 95
In Toronto, DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points, and Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and 14 rebounds as the Raptors beat Brooklyn to even their first-round playoff series at one game each.
Amir Johnson scored 16 points and Kyle Lowry had 14 as the Raptors rebounded from a 94-87 loss in Game 1. It was Valanciunas’ second straight playoff double-double.
Joe Johnson scored 18 points, Deron Williams had 15 and Mirza Teletovic 14 for the Nets, who will host Game 3 on Friday night.
Hampered by foul trouble throughout the game, Brooklyn’s Paul Pierce went 2-for-11 from the field, including 0-for-6 from 3-point range. He finished with seven points.
Kevin Garnett scored 13 points and Shaun Livingston had 12 for the Nets, who led 66-64 heading into the fourth and couldn’t take advantage of 21 Toronto turnovers.
Pacers 101, Hawks 85
In Indianapolis, Paul George had 27 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, leading Indiana to the victory.
The Pacers and Hawks are tied at a game apiece heading into Game 3 in Atlanta on Thursday.
Reserve Luis Scola added 20 points and seven rebounds for Indiana. George Hill had all 15 of his points in the second half.
George was especially effective even though he spent much of the night defending Atlanta point guard Jeff Teague, who had 14 points.