Wizards beat Bulls in OT to take 2-0 series lead
CHICAGO (AP) — Washington took a 2-0 lead over Chicago in their NBA first-round playoff series with a topsy-turvy 101-99 overtime win on Tuesday, while Toronto and Indiana both posted the victories they needed to square their respective series.
Washington led by 17 points in the first quarter but the Bulls came back strongly in front of their home fans to take a 10-point lead in the fourth, only for the Wizards to rally and square it.
Bradley Beal was the key for the Washington comeback in the closing stage of regulation and he finished with 26 points. In overtime, Nene provided the impetus by scoring the first six points after he had only 11 in regulation, being held in check by Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah.
Chicago’s Kirk Hinrich failed to convert at the foul line in the closing seconds and the Bulls now face an uphill task to avoid first-round elimination.
D.J. Augustin led Chicago with 25 points, and Taj Gibson had 22 points and 10 rebounds.
John Wall had 16 points and seven assists for Washington, which will host Game 3 on Friday.
Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points in the Raptors’ series-squaring 100-95 win over Brooklyn.
Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and 14 rebounds for his second-straight double-double of the series, while Amir Johnson scored 16 points and Kyle Lowry had 14.
For the Nets, who host Game 3 on Friday, Joe Johnson scored 18 points and Deron Williams had 15.
Brooklyn’s Paul Pierce was hampered by foul trouble throughout the game and finished with just seven points. He shot just 2 of 11 from the field including 0 for 6 from 3-point range. He finished with seven points.
The Nets led 66-64 heading into the fourth but still fell short and could not take advantage of 21 Toronto turnovers.
Indiana responded to the pressure of a shock first-up home defeat by beating Atlanta 101-85.
Paul George had 27 points, 10 rebounds and six assists for the Pacers, even though he spent much of the night defending Hawks point guard Jeff Teague, who had 14 points.
Reserve Luis Scola added 20 points and seven rebounds for the Eastern Conference top seeds and George Hill had all 15 of his points in the second half as part of a 25-2 run that set up the victory.
Paul Millsap finished with 19 for Atlanta.