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Wizards finish off cold-shooting Bulls

Chicago,  IL (SportsNetwork.com)  - The Chicago Bulls never got over the hump, 
or over the shoulders of Nene and Marcin Gortat in the closing minutes. 

John  Wall  had 24 points, seven  rebounds and four assists and the Washington 
Wizards advanced in the playoffs for just the third time in 35 years following 
a  75-69 win over  the Bulls in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference first-round 
series. 

Chicago  trailed by  nine  going  into the  fourth,  but  clawed within  72-69 
after D.J. Augustin sunk a pair of free throws with 2:18 left. 

The Wizards, though, took the next 1:19 off the clock as a trio of backtaps by 
Gortat  gave  them extra possessions.  Bradley Beal  wound up turning the ball 
over to Chicago with 59.8 ticks to play. 

Carlos  Boozer was  blocked by Gortat at  the other end, but a Washington shot 
clock violation gave the ball back to the Bulls with 22.4 seconds remaining. 

Jimmy  Butler  missed a left-handed layup  for Chicago following a timeout and 
Andre  Miller was off  the mark on two free throws, but a backtap by Nene this 
time helped Washington regain possession. 

Beal then split a pair of bonus shots, but another Nene offensive rebound with 
10.9 seconds to play essentially sealed it as Wall proceeded to knock down two 
from the charity stripe. 

Nene, who returned after serving his one-game suspension for grabbing the head 
of  Butler  in Game  3, tallied  20 points  and seven  rebounds. Beal added 17 
points  for  Washington,  which last  advanced  after defeating Chicago in six 
games of a first-round series in 2005. 

"The  main thing  is to focus in and  know what this team is capable of," Wall 
said. 

The  fifth-seeded  Wizards will face either  Indiana or Atlanta in the Eastern 
Conference semifinals. 

Kirk  Hinrich and Butler  netted 16 points apiece for the Bulls, who shot just 
33.3 percent (25-of-75) from the floor. Joakim Noah snatched 18 rebounds. 

"I  am proud of  the way we competed all year. We dealt with a lot. Whenever a 
season is over it is always tough," Noah said. 

The  game  was tied 41-41  at the  break, but the  Wizards surged ahead in the 
third by capitalizing on Chicago's six turnovers in the frame. 

They  closed  the quarter  on a  16-6 run  with four  of those Bulls giveaways 
coming  during the  swing. Beal poured in eight points during the burst, which 
Wall finished off by splitting a pair from the foul line for a 61-52 cushion. 

Chicago shot just 25 percent (4-of-16) in the third. 

Earlier,  Nene  put in the  final four points of  a mini 6-0 Washington spurt, 
which  staked  it to  a 15-10 advantage  past the midway  point of the opening 
frame.  The Wizards, who led after the first quarter of every game in the set, 
settled for a 23-15 cushion after one. 

Washington  stretched the  margin to 32-21 before Taj Gibson put in six points 
during  a 14-2 Bulls surge during the middle stages of the second. He sunk two 
free throws to cap it and give Chicago a 35-34 edge. 

                                   Game Notes 

The Wizards knocked off the New Jersey Nets 2-0 in a first-round set in 1982 
... Gibson rolled his left ankle in the fourth quarter and did not return ... 
Washington outrebounded Chicago, 49-43. 

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