Wizards close out Bulls in first round with 75-69 road win

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

D.C.'s upstart youngsters led by John Wall, Bradley Beal and Nene finished their first round matchup with a close win to end the series 4-1.

On the brink of elimination, the Chicago Bulls' offense could not get over the hump in Game 5 to stave off their season's end, falling to the Washington Wizards 75-69.

Once again Washington's backcourt proved a tough duo to defend as Wall's driving and Beal's shooting poured in 21 combined first-half points. But they also got a great initial scoring performance from Nene in the first quarter as his defenders let him have jump shots at will.

The Bulls, meanwhile, got off to a slow start, shooting a meager 21 percent from the field in the first quarter and falling behind quickly. For a team lacking in scoring punch, playing from behind gave them an extra difficult hole to dig out of.

Yet despite all the Bulls' offensive weaknesses, the Wizards could not pull away and the score was knotted at 41 by halftime despite further contributions from the trio of Nene, Wall and Beal. Their bench proved to be a significant weakness as Trevor Booker had the only points for the Wizards as a reserve with six. Chicago's bench didn't do much better, combining to shoot 4-for-21 from the field for 16 total points, but they at least helped the Bulls chip away at leads.

Kirk Hinrich and Jimmy Butler both had 16 points on the night for the Bulls, but they just didn't have another rally in them in the second half. The nine first half offensive rebounds dried up and they only collected two in the second half, and turnovers tumbled out of their hands with much more ease, as they totaled 10 in the second half after giving it up just once in the first half.

Still, the Bulls managed to draw within three points in the final minutes, but allowed Nene and the Wizards to backtap offensive rebounds almost at will, making time another enemy Chicago didn't need on an already difficult day.

Down three, the Bulls tried for the quick two, but Jimmy Butler missed the layup at the rim and the Wizards recovered. The Wizards then ended the game at the free throw line, giving the franchise a 4-1 series win over the Bulls.

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