“We were going to let Butler shoot them all day if he wanted to shoot them, because we knew that’s not really his game,” Beal said. “He made a few big ones, but as long as we contest [them] and do our concepts, we can’t argue with it.”
The teams exchanged free throws for the final 24.9 seconds, and Washington regained possession with 3.1 seconds remaining when Gibson missed the second of two free throws. Trevor Ariza grabbed the rebound and tried to pass the ball to Wall streaking up the left side, but Wall couldn’t handle the pass, which went out of bounds to effectively end the game.
“Just a bad mistake – a bad mistake to make,” Ariza said.
Wall had 23 points and seven assists for the Wizards, who were held to their worst shooting performance – 43.0 percent – of the series. Ariza had 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Gortat had 13 points and 11 rebounds.
With its victory, Chicago avoids attempting to overcome a seemingly insurmountable feat: No NBA team has lost the first three games of a best-of-seven series and won. Still, only three have lost the first two games at home in such a series and won.
“Yeah, we lost, but it’s over,” Beal said. “We’re up 2-1, and we’ve got to come out with the same sense of urgency, more focused, and ready to go.”