The forgotten man in Games 1 and 2, Mike Dunleavy nearly had the best scoring game of his career.
Dunleavy scored 35 points, one short of his career-high, and Jimmy Butler hit a go-ahead three-pointer with 24 seconds remaining as the Chicago Bulls hung on Friday night for a 100-97 win over the Washington Wizards, trimming the deficit to 2-1 in their Eastern Conference first-round series.
Dunleavy made a career-high eight three-pointers on 10 attempts, and the Bulls went 12 for 24 beyond the arc. After Butler's final three-pointer, the teams traded fouls and free throws. Washington had a chance to tie when Taj Gibson missed a free throw with 3.1 seconds to play, but Trevor Ariza threw the ball out of bounds after grabbing the rebound in a miscommunication with teammate John Wall.
Game 4 is Sunday in Washington. The Bulls are attempting to become only the fourth NBA team to win a seven-game series after losing the first two at home.
Bradley Beal scored 13 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter for the Wizards.
The game was played at the Wizards' faster pace, yet retained much of the physical play preferred by the Bulls. The chippiness evident in the games at Chicago resurfaced in the fourth quarter when Nene and Butler went forehead-to-forehead, with the Wizards forward grabbing Butler by the back of the neck and the side of the head.
Both were assessed with techncials, and Nene was ejected with 8:28 to play.
at Brooklyn 102, Toronto 98: Joe Johnson scored 29 points, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett brought a charge to their first playoff game in Brooklyn as the Nets held off the Raptors for a 2-1 lead in their first-round series. Johnson made the clinching free throws with 3.1 seconds left after the Nets blew almost all of a 15-point, fourth-quarter lead. Deron Williams added 22 points and eight assists for the sixth-seeded Nets, who host Game 4 on Sunday night. Pierce had 18 points, and he and Garnett provided the game's signature plays late in the second quarter. DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points for the Raptors, who have lost 13 straight road playoff games.
Houston 121, at Portland 116 (OT): Troy Daniels hit a three-pointer with 11.9 seconds left in overtime and the Rockets narrowed the Trail Blazers' first-round playoff advantage to 2-1. James Harden broke out of a slump with a career playoff-best 37 points and Dwight Howard added 24 points and 14 rebounds for the Rockets. Houston's Omer Asik did a good job of shutting LaMarcus Aldridge down in Game 3, holding the All-Star forward to 23 points. The Blazers were led by Damian Lillard with 30 points. Portland trailed by as many as 11 points in the final quarter but Nicolas Batum hit a three-pointer with 41 seconds left to tie the game at 110.