Wait...wait a minute guys. Are we sure we saw what we thought we saw? Is it actually true? Did it really happen?
Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) April 23, 2014
Headline says it all: pic.twitter.com/kDsYsvqkLi— Bullets Forever (@BulletsForever) April 23, 2014
Marcin is pretty speaking for all us right there, I think. Man oh man, how 'bout these Wizards? At least for today, they're the talk of the NBA, and maybe, if you use ESPN's front page as a barometer, all of sport.
Just an amazing game for this team. Down by 10 points with seven minutes to play on the road against a desperate Bulls team that ranked as one of the best defensive clubs in the league, how many of us started to look ahead to Game 3, satisfied the Wizards would return to D.C. having stolen homecourt and with the series tied at 1-1?
The Wizards certainly didn't, and ended the game on a 14-4 run thanks to nine straight points from Bradley Beal and some splendid defense by Trevor Ariza on D.J. Augustin.
Beal missed a potential game-winner at the end of regulation to send the game to overtime, where Nene quickly took over, scoring the first six points to give Washington the lead and generate the above GIF. Trevor Booker and John Wall each made a pair of clutch free throws to maintain the lead, but Wall got called for a bad offensive foul pushing off on the inbounds following a Joakim Noah layup, giving the ball back to Chicago with 39 seconds to play.
Il Divo...strikes again. pic.twitter.com/C9Kxtvg4YU— Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks) April 23, 2014
Terrified— danny rouhier (@funnydanny) April 23, 2014
Hugging is OK. Pushing off is not OK. Is that right?— Amin Vafa (@AminNBA) April 23, 2014
Four seconds later, Noah got fouled and sank both free throws. Beal followed it up with a miss on the other end, and the Bulls had the ball with 15 seconds to go and chance to tie or take the lead. Then, this happened.
Notice how Hinrich is already on his back by the time the whistle goes off? Don't worry, #WizardsTwitter noticed, as well.
That's a foul?— Neil Greenberg (@ngreenberg) April 23, 2014
WHERE WHERE WHERE WHERE WHERE WHERE WHEREW— Chris Ford (@DCSportsNexus) April 23, 2014
Phantom foul. Obviously.— Mike Prada (@MikePradaSBN) April 23, 2014
hahaha what a awful call— ᴡɪᴢ sᴘᴜʀᴛɪɴ (@Wiz_Spurtin) April 23, 2014
Horrible call in that situation.— Tom Ziller (@teamziller) April 23, 2014
Where is the foul?— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) April 23, 2014
I generally hate people who complain about the refs, but are you fucking kidding me?— Andrew Sharp (@andrewsharp) April 23, 2014
This crew is not distinguishing itself at either end tonight.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) April 23, 2014
But then, for seemingly the first time all game, the Wizards got some well-earned luck, as Kirk Hinrich clanged the first free throw needed to keep the game alive for the Bulls.
Greatest moment ever https://t.co/63t99tTzjt— Umair Khan (@UKhanNBA) April 23, 2014
BALL AIN'T LYIN IN OT— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) April 23, 2014
Choke— Jason Reid (@JReidPost) April 23, 2014
BALL DON'T LIE. #WizBulls— Hoop District (@HoopDistrictDC) April 23, 2014
BALL DONT FCKING LIE— B Mendoza (@mrbmendoza15) April 23, 2014
Ball don't lie.— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) April 23, 2014
BDF*****L— Mike Prada (@MikePradaSBN) April 23, 2014
Ball don't lie!!— Rob Carlin (@RobCarlinCSN) April 23, 2014
A Hinrich maneuver must be like a reverse Heimlich maneuver. Because he choked, you see.— Mr. Irrelevant (@MrIrrelevantDC) April 23, 2014
Ex-Wizard Kirk Hinrich is the Manchurian Candidate.— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) April 23, 2014
Apparently, the ball doesn't lie, folks. Hinrich intentionally missed the second free throw, but Wall corralled the rebound, and that was it. Ballgame, 2-0, rejoice.
HOLY CRAP THEY DID IT.— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) April 23, 2014
YES SIR YES SIR YES SIR YES SIR YES SIR YES SIR YES SIR YES SIR YES SIR YES SIR YES SIR YES SIR YES SIR— ᴡɪᴢ sᴘᴜʀᴛɪɴ (@Wiz_Spurtin) April 23, 2014
Greatest win I've ever witnessed. I love this team— Umair Khan (@UKhanNBA) April 23, 2014
HOLY EFFING ESSSSS— Bullets Forever (@BulletsForever) April 23, 2014
I don’t know how they won that game. Holy crap— Mike Prada (@MikePradaSBN) April 23, 2014
Props to the Washington Wizards. Incredible.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) April 23, 2014
For all news and traffic in Chicago, turn to WCFS 105.9 FM. #GetHomeSafe— danny rouhier (@funnydanny) April 23, 2014
THE WASHINGTON WIZARDS ARE UP 2-0 ON THE BULLS IN A PLAYOFF SERIES.— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) April 23, 2014
P#($*ERPOIFHJGVE+)(VDPOIHDVPKJNDJKVDVIPUJNFE_(*HT#$_(*NVD_UIP#$(_VE*(_(V*E__NVN_(VE-(FEV_*DIVBKPDWBN(_127861298367128— Adam McGinnis (@adammcginnis) April 23, 2014
The Wiz!!!!!!!!!!!!— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) April 23, 2014
IM HUMPING THE AIR, THIS IS THE BEST FEELING IN THE WORLD!!!!— Playoff Wizards (@SoWizards) April 23, 2014
JUST WOKE UP THE WHOLE HOUSE, WILL NEVER USE LOWERCASE AGAIN— Chris Ford (@DCSportsNexus) April 23, 2014
what just happened, i blacked out— Amin Vafa (@AminNBA) April 23, 2014
Us too, Amin. Us too. I'm still hyperventilating.
Beal led the way in this one with a game-high 26 points and seven rebounds on 9-of-20 shooting, while Nene following up his dominant Game 1 with an solid 17 points (8-of-13 shooting) and seven boards in Game 2. Wall had a better game than his line (16 points on 6-of-15 shooting, seven assists, five turnovers) indicates, as he did a very good job running the offense down the stretch. He also keyed a critical run over the final minute of the first half, scoring seven points to push Washington's lead from 49-48 to 56-49 entering halftime.
Marcin Gortat struggled all game, scoring only seven points on 2-of-9 shooting, but Trevor Booker came up huge with nine points and eight rebounds off the bench. Trevor Ariza had a good all-around game with eight points, eight rebounds, seven assists, and most importantly, his defense on Augustin. And though Beal led the Wizards' fourth-quarter comeback, it was Martell Webster (10 points, 4-of-6 shooting) who got it started with perhaps the shot of the game, a three-pointer inside the seven-minute mark to cut the deficit to 87-80.
The Wizards were outrebounded 49-42 and shot only 57 percent (16-for-28) at the foul line, and still left Chicago up 2-0. We couldn't have asked for any more over the first two games. Great job. The Bulls are drowning, and now they have to win a game in D.C. to keep this series alive. Don't let them up for air.
Road team recaps: BF StoryStream | SB Nation (recap, The Hook) | Washington Post (gamer, sidebar, Wise game column, Wise column on Beal, Game 2 by the numbers) | Washington Times (gamer, Harris column) | AP | CSN Washington (recap, Wittman sidebar, Ariza sidebar, AARP sidebar) | NBA.com | SI (recap, Nene feature) | Ball Don't Lie | ProBasketballTalk | CBS Sports | USA Today | DC Sports Bog (Game 2 best & worst, Buck calls Hinrich's miss, 2-0 first time since 1982, Wittman best postseason winning % in history, Barkley: Sweep, Legler: No weaknesses, St. Louis pizza > Chicago pizza) | Truth about It (recap, Hinrich luv) | Wiz of Awes (recap, Beal sidebar) | Hoop District | DC Pro Sports Report | District Sports Page | DC Sports Box | Ted's Take reality check!! | Wizards.com | Monumental Network
Home team recaps: Blog A Bull StoryStream | Chicago Tribune (gamer, Augustin sidebar, no offense sidebar, column) | Chicago Sun-Times (gamer, Beal sidebar, column) | ESPN (recap, 5-on-5, Wilbon, Augustin feature, Hinrich sidebar, Bulls D sidebar) | CSN Chicago (recap, Augustin sidebar, Hinrich sidebar, Thibodeau sidebar, offense sidebar) | CBS Chicago | Daily Herald | Bulls.com
3:53 - The last time the Bulls scored in regulation, on a Hinrich jumper that gave Chicago a 91-85 lead. Then Beal scored seven straight points to send the game to OT.
8:08 - The amount of time left in the fourth quarter when D.J. Augustin last scored. At that point, he'd scored a team-high 25 points on 10-of-18 shooting. Then Randy Wittman switched Trevor Ariza onto Augustin out of the under-six timeout, and Augustin only attempted three shots the rest of the game -- none in overtime -- and missed all three.
TWEETS OF THE NIGHT (there's a lot)
Just a reminder that in 1978, Bullets also went 44-38 and won their first two playoff games.— Kevin Dunleavy (@KDunleavy) April 23, 2014
"Man,all that media fawning over the Bulls sure was stupid," -- Ethan Strauss, guy who picked Bulls in 5— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) April 23, 2014
Your Wizards just took 2 games on the road in Chicago, and they're coming back to DC on Friday.— Bullets Forever (@BulletsForever) April 23, 2014
THANK YOU BRADLEY BEAL, I'M NAMING MY ALL KIDS AFTER YOU— Andrew Sharp (@andrewsharp) April 23, 2014
WIZARDS WIN! Kirk Hinrich misses a pair of free throws with 2.4 seconds left, Bulls lose 101-99. pic.twitter.com/pl3kaF6Qmb— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 23, 2014
Wizards up 2-0. Story of the playoffs so far.— Chris Palmer (@ChrisPalmerNBA) April 23, 2014
Over the last five seasons, the Wizards were 117-277 and the laughingstock of the NBA. Now, they're up 2-0 in the playoffs. Incredible.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) April 23, 2014
Seriously, though, what happened?— Bullets Forever (@BulletsForever) April 23, 2014
WIZARDS!!!! https://t.co/SibT5YP950— Danny (@recordsANDradio) April 23, 2014
"This team is growing up before our eyes, America"- Charles Barkley— Hoop District (@HoopDistrictDC) April 23, 2014
I'm in. RT@SquidDad Getting Randy Wittman's face tattooed on my back— Ben M (@BenMehicNBA) April 23, 2014
Wizards are fun to watch. Play hard, play together. Team was assembled intelligently w mix of old and young. Somewhere Abe Pollin is smiling— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) April 23, 2014
Turns out all the heart, grit and determination in the world just adds up to taking the L from Randy Wittman and his grumbleface— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) April 23, 2014
#Wizards survived Chicago's best punch, Joey Crawford, poor FTs AGAIN, Joey Crawford, Gibson & Augustin frying, and lastly, Joey Crawford— Ward Watkins (@PhoneBoothWiz) April 23, 2014
Randy Wittman is getting extended until the next millenium.— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) April 23, 2014
As of now no team is closer to the NBA title than the Washington Wizards. Is this real life???— zachary ament (@zach13090) April 23, 2014
"This is over. O-V-E-R, flat out 4-0 sweep"- Charles Barkley— Hoop District (@HoopDistrictDC) April 23, 2014
I've got a #dcRising— Danny (@recordsANDradio) April 23, 2014
Gheorghe, what just happened??? pic.twitter.com/e0LFo8QLFU— T.J. Doyle (@gheorghetheblog) April 23, 2014
Randy Wittman coached a great, great game tonight. Ariza on Augustin and Boker down the stretch were great moves. #WizardsTalk— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayCSN) April 23, 2014
Brad Beal, meet America. America, meet Brad.— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) April 23, 2014
WE FELLS ASLEEP ONLY 2 WAKE & FIND WIZ WINNED & WE THONGS UP IN THE CEILING FAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!— WzzzzzzzNtzzzzzzzzzz (@wzzntzz) April 23, 2014
I flatlined no less than 5 times.— Danny (@recordsANDradio) April 23, 2014
Beal & Wall have taken a huge step forward. They're gonna be trouble in the East for years to come— Gary Payton (@GaryPayton_20) April 23, 2014
Legler: "Pay attention to this Washington team because the more you watch them the more you realize they really don't have any weaknesses."— Jake Russell (@_JakeRussell) April 23, 2014
Ordering 10 of these: pic.twitter.com/o09XTys34X— chad dukes (@chaddukes) April 23, 2014
No shame in it- we don't need to know your real name. It's okay- come on in.... pic.twitter.com/ZIFXoVxBaP— WizardsXTRA (@WizardsXTRA) April 23, 2014
Tonight, Bradley Beal became the 10th player in NBA history to score 25 points in a playoff game before turning 21. http://t.co/PHLmNRtdYQ— Andy Hutchins (@AndyHutchins) April 23, 2014
Chicago Bulls fans be like... pic.twitter.com/MlDH1bPLA6— NBA Memes (@NBAMemes) April 23, 2014
Also, I'll say this. Bandwagon crap aside, there is a cadre of Wizards bloggers that committed to this team for no reason. Years ago.— Clinton Yates (@clintonyates) April 23, 2014
I don't even know what to do. I am wandering around my neighborhood in flip flops. I'm dead ass serious too.— Trevor Jackson (@tjackson85) April 23, 2014
If Miami is to three-peat, it will have to figure out how to get through the Wizards— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) April 23, 2014
Not satisfied #dcRising— Trevor Booker (@35_Fitz) April 23, 2014
Garrett Temple (@GTemp14) April 23, 2014
Great TEAM win!— Chris Singleton (@C_SING31) April 23, 2014
Great win for us!!! Nene was unstoppable again!!!! I have to play better ... Glad TBook got my back!— Marcin Gortat (@MGortat) April 23, 2014
Wiz nation!!! Come to the game on Friday and Sunday and help us win those games!— Marcin Gortat (@MGortat) April 23, 2014
VIDEO/GIF OF THE NIGHT
FIRST HALF GAMETHREAD COMMENT(S) OF THE NIGHT