#WizBulls Game 2 Gameday Blog

Posted on April 22, 2014 by Jeremy Hyman

Final Score: Wizards 101 Bulls 99 (OT)

Where to begin with this one? In an instant classic, the Wizards came back from down 10 in the fourth quarter to force overtime and did just enough in the extra session to escape the United Center with a 101-99 victory, and the all important 2-0 series lead. This game had just about everything. The Wizards went up by as many as 17 in the first half but still found themselves down ten in the fourth. The reason was that at the end of the second quarter and the entire third, the Bulls showed off that stingy defense, shut Washington down and got themselves back into the ballgame.

The Bulls were up by 10 in the fourth quarter with seven minutes to play and looked poised to run away with it. The Wizards would not go away. Martell Webster hit a three with 6:48 to go to start the comeback and from there it was Bradley Beal time. Beal scored 9 of the Wizards last 11 as the two teams found themselves tied up with 10 seconds to go. After an Augustin miss, Nene and Gibson dove for a loose ball and it was ruled a jump which Nene won. Beal missed an off balance baseline jumper at the buzzer and we were headed to overtime. The Wizards closed regulation on a 14-4 run.

The Wizards jumped all over the Bulls in OT, with Nene opening the extra frame with three straight buckets for a six point lead. The Bulls missed 12 consecutive shots at the end of regulation and the start of OT and found themselves without points in OT until Hinrich hit a pair of free throws with 1:15 to go...something he would be unable to do later. With 42 seconds to go, the Wizards were still up six when Noah drove to the hoop for a tough finish. On the ensuing inbounds play, Wall pushed off of Augustin to give the Bulls the ball back where Noah would get fouled and hit both free throws. Beal missed a 15 footer with 17 seconds to go and the Bulls got the ball back with a chance to tie or win. On the final possession, Hinrich drove to the rim and drew the foul. Hinrich would not be able to convert, as he missed the first, and then missed the second on purpose but Wall corralled the rebound to secure the win.

Bradley Beal was the offensive hero with 26 points, but it was Ariza who was the defensive hero. Augustin was the difference maker for most of the game with 25 points on 10/22 shooting, including 4/8 from long distance, but once Ariza was shifted onto him, he failed to make an impact as Ariza shut him down. He had zero points in the final eight minutes of regulation and OT. Ariza finished with just eight points but was still a game high +14.

The Bulls did a better job on the Wizards interior players, as Nene 11 points before OT (finished with 17) and Gortat had just seven, so it was up to the guards to pick up the scoring slack, and they did just that. Beal had 26 points and seven boards while Wall had 16 points, seven assists and six boards. Trevor Booker played the crunch time minutes thanks to his hustle and tenacious work on the boards, grabbing eight in his 27 minutes and chipped in nine points. Martell Webster was efficient in his 22 minutes, scoring 10 points on 4/6 shooting and Miller scored eight in nine minutes. The Wizards as a team shot 47.5% compared to 43.2% for Chicago. Free throw shooting was a big problem for Washington, as they shot just 16/28 for 57.1%.

The Bulls made their living inside, outrebounding the Wizards 49-42 and outscoring them in the paint 44-22. They grabbed 17 of those boards on the offensive end. Much of that was Taj Gibson, who had 22 points and 10 boards, with an incredible nine of those coming on the offensive glass. He and Augustin came off the bench to score 47 of Chicago's 99 points. Noah also had a big night, finishing with 20 points and 12 boards.

The series now shifts to Washington with the Wizards firmly in command with the two games to zero series lead. Game three is Friday night at 8pm. - Jacob Raim


Third Quarter Update

The third quarter did not go the Wizards way, as the Wizards offense stalled and the Bulls won the quarter 26-14 to take a five point lead, 75-70, entering the fourth. The Bulls defense seriously clamped down and they went on a 12-3 run in the middle of the quarter to turn that seven point deficit at the half into a lead. DJ Augustin has been the difference maker and leads the Bulls with 20, and Gibson has 15. For the Wizards, Wall has 15 and Beal 14. Wall and Hinrich both are in foul trouble with four each. - Jacob Raim


Halftime Update

The Wizards weathered the Chicago storm which included a 14-2 Bulls run to enter the half up seven, 56-49. The pace of the game has been quick and high scoring, which certainly is in the Wizards favor. Chicago got themselves back into the game after being down as many as 17 through their trademark tough defense and also getting the United Center crowd involved. At one point, Beal and Hinrich got tangled up and were given double technicals and Noah took the opportunity to pump the crowd up. The Bulls got as close as one, before the Wizards finished on a 7-1 run, all by Wall.

In a contrast to game one, Beal and Wall were the focal points of the offense. Beal was 4/9 for 13 points including 2/4 from three and Wall was 6/10 for 14 points. The Wizards as a team shot 53.7% from the field while the Bulls were at 43.2%. The Bulls stayed in the game by dominating the offensive boards, grabbing 11 on the offensive end, including five by Taj Gibson. Gibson had 13 points, with most of them coming off of putbacks of Bulls misses. Augustin led the Bulls with 14 on 5/10 shooting. It was a pretty clean half, with just eight total turnovers between the two teams.

The Wizards were at their best offensively in the first half when they got out on the run and moved the ball, not that that is some sort of secret to success. That's been the case all year. When they let the Bulls get set and the offense goes stagnant, the Bulls are incredibly tough to breakdown. The Wizards also have to do a better job boxing out, especially Taj Gibson. Finally the Bulls are going to play like their season is on the line, the Wizards have to match their intensity. The opening moments of the second half will be absolutely huge. - Jacob Raim


First Quarter Update

The Wizards started the game on a 7-0 run and didn't slow down from there, as they lead 31-20 at the end of the first quarter. Washington shot 11/20 from the field, 3/6 from long range, and only turned the ball over once. They also scored seven points in transition after scoring nine in the entirety of game one. Wall and Beal's performance was a far cry from game one, as they combined to shoot 6/10 from the field for 17 points and each had a three. Nene continued to be effective in the midrange game, shooting 2/3 with both of his makes coming from that elbow. DJ Augustin provided the Bulls their only spark, leading them on a late personal 8-0 run to keep them in the ball game. - Jacob Raim


Pregame

We've arrived at United Center for Game 2 and are closing in on tip-off!

Nothing major to announce here at the arena, everyone is available for the Wizards and no changes to the lineups.

Randy Wittman did say that he wants his guys to come out and be the desperate team tonight, because sometimes after getting a road win in Game 1 a team can get complacent. From what they said, it seems like the Wizards will be focused and ready to try and steal another, but saying it and doing it are two different things:


We've got plenty of videos below from shootaround and yesterday's practice with lots of insightful comments from the key guys tonight.

The guys watching some last minute film as they prepare for Game 2 tonight:

We'll check in at gametime in the Live Chat on WashingtonWizards.com.

Can't wait for Game 2!



Shootaround

With a later game tonight, shootaround was a little bit later today, a noon start rather than 10am like it was on Sunday.

It would be easy to exhale a little bit now that the Wizards have already won a game on the road and have guaranteed no worse than a split before returning home for two games.

But, the Wizards won't do that.

Bradley Beal said that they need to come out as the desperate team tonight and he's telling the guys to play like they're down 0-1.

He and the rest of us know the Bulls will certainly come out with an even higher level of intensity and the Wiz will need to match that early to avoid getting into a big hole.


Game 2 is usually all about adjustments from Game 1, and John Wall knows that the Bulls will probably show him some different looks to shake things up and try and disrupt the flow of the Wizards offense:

Joakim Noah was named Defensive Player of the Year yesterday, which may make Marcin Gortat even more motivated because he said he loves these kind of challenges:

Gortat won't be alone in taking on Noah and facing him on the offensive end, as the Wizards most dominant player from Game 1, Nene, will also get that challenge. Nene said he's still a little sore from his 35 minutes of action, but he'll be ready to go when the ball is tipped tonight:

And Randy Wittman is preaching his same sentiments, that the team needs to play their style, at their pace, and not fall victim to the Bulls trying to disrupt what they do best:

We'll check back in from the arena during pregame warmups with any last minute updates. It's a late start tonight, 9:30pm back east so stay up late with us and join the Live Chat on WashingtonWizards.com.



Monday's Practice

One down, three to go.

That's the mantra now from Wiz camp after a bigtime road win in Game 1. Winning playoff games on the road is not easy and the team should be proud of what they did, but at the same time they can't get complacent and be celebrating too much, because the bottom line is they've won one game in a best-of-seven series.

They know that's the case and that was the overall message from practice on Monday. The mood was certainly jovial, but that same sense of focus remained and has been present for the last week or so.

Marcin Gortat joked after the Game 1 win that even the team staff have been more intense at practice, diving on the floor to wipe up wet spot. His point being that the focus and intensity level has been raised throughout the organization.

So it was back to work on Monday for the Wizards.

The team went through media before practice and then went to watch film before returning for the on-court part of practice.

You can hear from some of the guys below:





Now the question will be how do they respond to being up in the series and playing a more desperate Bulls team in Game 2. Chicago knows they will be in big trouble if they drop both games at home and will have to view Game 2 as a 'must win.'

We'll check back in from shootaround on Tuesday with some more coverage from Chicago and any updates that may come about throughout the day.

Game 2 will be a late one, especially for those of you watching on the east coast with a 9:30pm tip on CSN locally and TNT nationally. We'll be live chatting again on WashingtonWizards.com beginning at tip-off.

Posted in: Sports
next up:

A Look Back: Wizards vs. Bulls 2005

April 22, 2014

With #WizBulls underway, now's a good time to look back to the last time these two teams met in the postseason.

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