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The Bulls crept within three, but with 2:18 to play, Marcin Gortat was able to tip three consecutive misses one by Beal, two by Nen back to the top of the key to reset the offense. The sequence, which ended when Beal’s baseline pass bounced out of bounds, wore 1:20 off the clock.

“We are a good rebounding team too, and it’s just about effort and will,” Gortat said. “My whole offensive game wasn’t here today, so I just tried to focus on rebounding and getting some shots.”

A shot clock violation on the Wizards with 22.4 seconds left handed the ball back to Chicago, but Butler, who took the inbounds pass from Hinrich under the basket, was unable to score. Washington played out the game making just one of its next three free throws, but a pair of offensive rebounds by Nen allowed the Wizards to run out the clock.

Gortat, who had just two points on 1-for-5 shooting, had 13 rebounds. Joakim Noah had 18 rebounds, but just six points.

Washington’s last appearance in the Eastern Conference Semifinals ended in a four-game sweep at the hands of the Miami Heat in 2005. It had not previously won a series since 1982, when it defeated the New Jersey Nets in the first round and then lost to the Boston Celtics in five games.