Bradley Beal came on strong late in regulation to finish with 26 points, Nene scored six of his 17 in overtime and the visiting Washington Wizards beat the Chicago Bulls, 101-99, Tuesday to take a 2-0 lead in their first-round Eastern Conference 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.
Hinrich, a 76% free-throw shooter this season, had a chance to tie it after being 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 secure 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.
at Indiana 101, Atlanta 85: Paul George scored 27 points and George Hill had all 15 of his points in the second half as the top-seeded Pacers evened their series at one game apiece.
Tuesday’s win at least gave the Pacers a brief respite from the constant questions that have dogged them throughout their late-season swoon. They pulled away with a 31-13 edge in the third quarter.
George was especially effective even though he spent much of the night defending Hawks point guard Jeff Teague, who had 14 points.
“That’s why he was in the MVP conversation early,” Pacers Coach Frank Vogel said. “He always does those types of things, guarding the best perimeter player, rebounding the ball, deflecting the ball. His hands were all over the place. It makes him one of the most complete players in the game when he plays like he did tonight.”
at Toronto 100, Brooklyn 95: DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and 14 rebounds for his second straight playoff double-double and the Raptors evened their first-round series at one game apiece.
Hampered by foul trouble throughout the game, Brooklyn’s Paul Pierce was two for 11 from the field, including 0 for 6 from three-point range. He finished with seven points.