Mike Dunleavy Jr. scored a game-high 35 points to lead the Chicago Bulls to a tough 100-97 road victory over the Washington Wizards in game three of the Eastern Conference first round series, hosted at the Washington D.C. Verizon Center. Chicago has now cut the Wizards' series lead to 2-1.
Washington led, 51-48, at halftime after finishing strong to close the second quarter. Wizards guards John Wall and Bradley Beal were giving Chicago problems, combining for 48 points in the game.
But Dunleavy kept firing back at Washington every time they made a big play, making 8-of-10 three-point attempts, including one really big three at the end of the fourth quarter that returned the Bulls back to the lead after a big shot from Beal.
Beal came right back with another clutch three to retake the lead for Washington, but then Bulls' forward Jimmy Butler came back with his own clutch three just moments later. Chicago was able to hit free throws from that point forward to hold off Washington for the road win.
The Bulls also benefited from Wizards forward Nene being ejected from the game in the 3rd quarter. He got into a tussle with Butler before grabbing his neck, leading to his ejection. Nene had just 10 points when he was bounced from the game.
Butler finished with 15 points, the second most for the Bulls on the night. Forward Carlos Boozer had 14 and guard D.J. Augustine and forward Taj Gibson each scored 13 off the bench for the Bulls.
Beal scored a team-high 25 points for Washington; Wall followed with 23 with 7 assists. Forward Trevor Ariza had a double-double of 16 points with 11 rebounds for the Wizards.
Washington will host game four of the series on Sunday, April 27. Tipoff is 1 p.m.