The Washington Wizards knew a win against the Chicago Bulls would put them in a commanding position heading into Game three of the series, and Randy Wittman's men didn't disappoint; winning Game two 101-99 in overtime at the United Center.
"I think we did a great job staying calm and composed," Beal said. "Early in the season, we would get rattled and guys would try to make plays one on one on their own. Tonight, we trusted in our offense like we've been doing."
The Wizards won two of their past three meetings last season against the Bulls, and having won Game one 102-93, the Wizards have a very strong advantage heading into the next match on Friday night.
Washington started on the front foot from the tip-off taking the first quarter 31-20; Bradley Beal scoring ten points in nine minutes for the visitors showing his strength, while Trevor Ariza sunk five as well as assisting four.
D.J. Augustin meanwhile produced a miraculous display hitting eight points in two minutes for the hosts to keep them in the tie.
Thibodeau decided in the second to drop Mike Dunleavy and Carlos Boozer for Taj Gibson and D.J. Augustin, and this paid dividends as the Bulls went to secure the second 29-25, going in at half-time trailing by seven points at 56-49.
Taj Gibson featured for the whole 12 minutes scoring 13 points while Agustin and Joakim Noah linked up well to both hit six.
Emotions were high and it showed as both Bradley Beal and Kirk Hinrich got in a scrap after some shirt pulling but were pulled away by the officials, the Bulls fans seemed to build confidence from this second as the United Center united to show their support.
The third was the Bulls' quarter as they recorded a 26-14 win; Dunleavy and Carlos Boozer this time had improved performances, as the forwards hit a combined tally of 12 points, with Augustin adding six points in nine minutes.
Nene added five to the board for Wittman's side, but it was a poor quarter from the visitors as they let their lead slip and heading into the fourth the Bulls had a five point lead at 75-70.
Confidence was with the hosts, but it seemed the pressure got to Thibodeau's men as the Wizards cooked up some magic to bounce back and win the fourth 21-16.Bradley Beal scored 11 in ten minutes scoring four of his eight attempted field goals carrying his side to overtime, while Augustin and Gibson hit five each for The Bulls.
Overtime was a tense period as it would decide whether Wizards would have an advantage or the Bulls could tie the series, but Nene for the Wizards responded by scoring six points in the five minute period to win the extra period 10-8.
Bulls will be frustrated of dropping points in the final period to force the game into overtime, but the Wizards would feel a bit more confident in their chances of reaching the semi-finals of the play-offs later this month after yesterday's crucial win.
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