Bradley Beal scored a game-high 26 points, including 11 points in the 4th quarter, as the Washington Wizards escaped with a 101-99 victory in overtime over the Chicago Bulls in Game 2 of the NBA Eastern Conference first round series on April 22 in Chicago, Ill. The win advanced the Wizards to 2-0 in the best-of-seven series.

It was the first time in franchise history that Washington has won the first two games on the road in a playoff series. But it didn’t come easy. After giving up 31 points in the first quarter alone, Chicago eventually tightened up on defense and turned the game into a physical dogfight. Using its aggressive defense, Chicago held Washington to just 14 points scored in the 3rd quarter and led by as many as 10 points in the 4th quarter.

But Beal caught fire during the final minutes of the game and led Washington back. Beal had a chance to end the game with an attempt at a buzzer beater at the end of regulation, but his fade-away jumper fell short.

Washington then went to veteran forward Nene Hilario for points as he scored Washington’s first three overtime baskets to give the Wizards a six-point cushion. Nene finished with 17 points with seven rebounds.

Chicago cut the lead back down to just two points and had a chance to tie the game with just 2 seconds left in overtime. But Bulls veteran guard Kirk Hinrich missed both of his free-throw attempts, ending the game at 101-99.

Wizards guard John Wall scored 17 points with seven assists, while forward Martell Webster added 10 points off the bench for Washington.

Guard D.J. Augustin had a career-best game for Chicago, scoring 25 points with seven assists off the bench. Taj Gibson also played big off the bench for the Bulls, scoring 22 points with 10 rebounds. Joakim Noah scored 20 points with 12 rebounds.

The Wizards return to D.C. to host the Bulls in Game 3 of the series on Friday, April 25 at 8 p.m. The game will be televised by ESPN.

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor