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Bulls 100, Wizards 97

Alan Draper profile picture
Sports Editor
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WASHINGTON — Forward Mike Dunleavy scored 35 points and swingman Jimmy Butler sank the go-ahead 3-pointer with 24 seconds left as the Chicago Bulls defeated the Washington Wizards 100-97 on Friday night in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference first-round series. The Wizards hold a 2-1 series lead.

Dunleavy made eight of 10 shots from beyond the arc and 12 of 18 attempts overall. Butler’s second 3-pointer of the game came after Washington erased a sizable fourth-quarter deficit for the third straight game and did so after power forward Nene was ejected with 8:28 remaining.

Butler scored 15 points and forward Carlos Boozer had 14 for the Bulls. Led by Dunleavy, Chicago made 12 of 24 3-pointers.

Guard Bradley Beal scored 13 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter for the Wizards, who won the opening two games of the series in Chicago. Guard John Wall had 23 points, but the All-Star missed two free throws with the game tied at 91-91 and 1:27 remaining.

After each team had an empty possession, Butler drained a 3-pointer from the right wing to put Chicago ahead for good.

The Bulls made six of seven free throws in the final 12.2 seconds. Forward Taj Gibson split a pair with 3.1 seconds left to give Chicago a 100-97 lead. He missed the second attempt and Wizards forward Trevor Ariza grabbed the rebound, but threw the attempted outlet pass out of bounds.

Not usually part of Chicago’s fourth-quarter rotation, Dunleavy received extensive minutes late in Game 3 as the Bulls were outscored 51-34 combined during the fourth quarter of the first two games. Washington won Game 1 102-93 and rallied for a 101-99 victory in overtime of Game 2 on Tuesday.

Nene scored 10 points for the Wizards after averaging 20.5 in the two victories.

His layup cut Chicago’s lead to 78-76 with 8:28 remaining. Nene then turned up court and bumped into Butler. The two exchanged words and were nose-to-nose when the Brazilian big man grabbed Butler. After checking replay, officials assigned two technical fouls, leading to an automatic ejection.

Chicago scored the next five points, including a 3-pointer by Butler. Chicago led 85-78 with 6:00 remaining when the Wizards surged back with a 13-4 run.

The sold-out crowd roared at their full-throated best for the first NBA playoff game in Washington since 2008. Washington entered halftime leading 51-48 after a 9-0 surge and then scored the opening five points on the third quarter to go up 56-48. The Bulls went 6:49 without a point and nearly eight minutes without a basket until Dunleavy’s tip-in.

NOTES: Bulls F Mike Dunleavy scored 21 points in the first two games combined. … Bulls C Joakim Noah and a member of the Wizards’ security team had a heated exchange as the teams traded places during the morning shootaround at the Verizon Center. With the Wizards entering the court area, an attempt to have Noah immediately end his drills led to the verbal confrontation. Both coaches were asked about the matter before the game. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau simply said, “Much ado about nothing.” … Washington and Chicago split their two previous series, with the Wizards taking the most recent one in 2005. … Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III and former NBA star Dikembe Mutombo were among the many notables in attendance for Game 3. … Game 4 tips at 1 p.m. Sunday in Washington.

Alan is an expert gambling writer who works as one of the chief editors for Basketball Insiders. He has been covering online gambling and sports betting for over 8 years, having written for the likes of Sportlens,, The Sports Daily, 90min, and His particular specialisms include US online casinos and gambling regulations, and soccer and basketball betting. Based in London, Alan holds an MA in English Literature and is a passionate supporter of Chelsea FC.

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