You could sense the United Center crowd, shocked at what they were seeing in the closing stages of this decisive Game Five. That was five offensive rebounds in the final two minutes over the Wizards’ last three possessions. It does not matter Washington did not score in that time. That put the game away. Chicago could not take advantage of the opportunities Washington gave the team by not closing the door.
Andre Miller missed two free throws with the Wizards up three and less than two minutes to go. Nene stepped in and knocked the ball back to the Wizards to seal the game. Bradley Beal actually split the free throws to seal the game and the series for the Wizards in a 75-69 win at United Center.
Chicago was game as always, but unable to keep pace in the end. The Bulls made their comeback to tie the game at the half. The Wizards just kept making basket after basket to gain distance.
Washington was never able to pull completely away. Chalk that up to inexperience, perhaps? Whatever it was it took Washington to the very end to finish this one off. When the Wizards did, though, it came from outworking the Bulls and beating them at their own game it seemed.
That was hustle, effort and energy. This was a willingness to get to the ball first and do what it took to win. Washington played a good chunk of this game like it was facing elimination, not Chicago.
That is startling to hear from a Tom Thibodeau team. Now we do not get to hear from him for an entire offseason.
John Wall scored 24 points and Kirk Hinrich and Jimmy Butler each had 16 points.