The game figured to be physical, and hotly contested as both teams have physical players, and the Wizards took it on the chin the last time these two teams played which gave them plenty to prove. They were without Hilario Nene for that game and as the first quarter proved out was a huge factor.
The game started out being called tight by the referee’s. Both teams had to adjust after being called for some pretty touchy foul’s one would not associate in an NBA playoff game. Especially against the bulls as Kirk Hinrich had to leave with two early on him, and a hot hand shooting 2 of 3. The bulls picked up 6 fouls with 2:58 remaining in the first quarter where at that point Tom Thibodeau called a time out to get the team re-focused. Nene was a force down low early starting out 4 of 6 from the field. Carlos Boozer, and Jimmy Butler carried the offense early on with both hitting 3-5 in the first quarter. Mike Dunleavy was cold from the field starting out 0 for 4 from the field. Bulls finished 10-23/43.5% and 1-3 from 3 point territory and hitting 1 of 1 FT’s. Wizards 9-20 good for 45%, and 6 of 9 from the FT line and no 3 pointers. Wizards out rebounded the bulls 13-11. Both teams played evenly in the first quarter.
The 2nd quarter started out the same as the first with the bulls getting the short end of the stick from the refs and putting the bulls over the limit after two consecutive foul on Nazr Mohammed with just over 9 and a half minutes left in the quarter forcing Joakim Noah to come back in sooner than Thibodeau would’ve liked. Butler continued to play well as it seemed he was all over the floor picking off passes, rebounding the ball, and driving aggressively to the basket. The Bulls also got a shot in the arm from Hinrich. He returned late on the 2nd after early foul trouble to play an excellent floor game and to add some size, and toughness to help out on Bradley Beal and John Wall. However he had to leave at the 1:42 mark as he picked up his 3rd foul.
Bulls got a big boast from the bench outscoring the Wizards bench 19-6. Bulls went into halftime up by six 54-48 by closing it out on an 18-9 run. Fouls started to even out as the bulls had 15 and the Wizards had 14. Both teams shot well with the Wizards hitting 17-46 for 47.2 % from the field and the bulls at 19-43 for 44.2 %. Dunleavy continued to struggle ending at 0-5 which prompted Thibodeau to give Rookie forward Tony Snell the bulk of the minutes in the 2nd quarter. Wall struggled at 3-10 from the field for the Wizards, but fortunately for them Nene was dominant and clearly outplayed Noah going 7-10 and bullying his way to the hoop, and leading the Wizards with 14 points. Bulls were led by DJ Augustine with 12 point despite hitting just 2-9, but did get to the line and hitting 8-8 from the charity stripe. Bulls out rebounded them 24-21 rallying in the 2nd quarter to out rebound them by 5 after being -2 in that department in quarter one.