Chicago Bulls come to life in Game 3

Posted by Clevis Murray on Saturday, April 26, 2014 with No comments


The Verizon Center was going berserk as their Wizards were playing their first home playoff game since May 2, 2008. The team was coming back to their home base after winning the first two games in enemy territory against the Chicago Bulls.   

The most forgotten person in the Bulls offense, Mike Dunleavy had the best scoring game of his NBA career and it couldn't come at a better time as his team needed all 35 points of his to edge out Washington. Dunleavy made a career-high eight 3-pointers (Bulls record) on 10 attempts and was 12-of-19 from the field in general. Entering Game 3, he had 20 combined points and surpassed that total midway through the 3rd quarter. There has been an odd theme in the playoffs this year with players getting fouled and going to the line for a 4-point play; well add Dunleavy to the list as he was fouled by Bradley Beal. The 3-point game is becoming more teams identities in the NBA and it's trending like 4-point plays will become as common a AND-1.

"He was in the zone, man,'' Beal said. ''I guess the hoop looked like an ocean to him.''

Washington tried following the blueprint of victory in Game 2 by using their athleticism to their advantage, playing at a faster pace than the Bulls instead of running half-court sets which would feed into the game plan of the Bulls.

Now we all love physical basketball and seeing the tension between players. Early in the 4th period Wizards forward Nene and Bulls guard Jimmy Butler went forehead-to-forehead at the 8:28 mark in the quarter. The two were going at it like they were in the MMA with their heads collapsed on to each other and them exchanging heated words. The situation did get worse when Nene for some odd reason let the situation get to him and decided to out both his hands on Jimmy Butlers and luckily Butler didn't retaliate as it could've gotten ugly quick.

"It looked like an MMA move to me,'' Dunleavy said. ''It was one of those headlocks. It was great that Jimmy kept his cool. I think a lot of people put in that situation would've started throwing blows.''
Both players received technical fouls but Nene was ejected for putting his hands on Butler.

Expect Nene to receive a fine,and a suspension wouldn't be surprising 

"I have nothing to regret,'' Nene said. ''I'm a warrior right there. What I did, I'm supposed to do"

John Wall and Bradley came to play as both combined for 48 points on 15-for-32 shooting, Beal scored 13 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, but both young stars couldn't have played any better as they had to step-up due to the indulgence of one their teammates, Nene's presence was missed.

The heated exchange with Nene ignited Butler as he would go on to score nine points after and hit the go-ahead three-pointer with 24 seconds left to give Washington a 94-91 lead. After Butler's 3, the two teams would go to exchange fouls and free-throws but then it go just flat-out weird towards the end. After guard D.J. Augustin made two free-throws to give Chicago a 99-94 win with four seconds left, John Wall drove up the left side of the court and was fouled by rookie forward Tony Snell as he was shooting from half-court. A pretty apparent rookie mistake by Snell and lack of awareness with clock and score. Wall would go on to make all three free-throws to make the score 99-97 with three seconds but when you thought you seen it all you hadn't. Taj Gibson proceeded to go 1-for-2 from the free-throw line and when Trevor Ariza rebounded the bal,l he and Wall miss communicated as he threw the ball out of bounds with 0.3 seconds left and a Chicago 100-97 win.

Game Notes: Bulls center Joakim Noah got into a verbal altercation with a Wizards security manager at shootaround... Bulls shot 50.0% from 3-point line which is 23.0% higher than their season average.... Wizards had 50 points in the paint... Dunleavy has only played twelve playoff games... Dunleavy's first 30-point game since November 9, 2010.

Arena: Verizon Center
Referees: James Capers, Jason Phillips, Zach Zarba
Attendance: 23, 356