Grizzlies applying real pressure on OKC after Game 5 win.
It’s end of the playoff road for the Chicago Bulls, as they fell to a 4-1 opening round series defeat to the Washington Wizards which draws a close to a difficult season for the organisation.
Having lost point guard Derrick Rose to a season-ending knee injury again back in November, the Bulls also saw Luol Deng leave in a trade deal earlier this year.
Despite speculation of possibly ‘tanking’, Tom Thibodeau kept his men focused and guided them to an impressive fourth place finish in the Eastern Conference, but unfortunately for Chicago fans, that was as good as it got.
John Wall finished Game 5 with 24 points, Nene added 20 and the Wizards beat the Bulls to clinch only their third post-season series win since the 1970s.
It is undoubtedly a huge step for the Wizards in their continued growth with a roster of young, exciting players mixed with experience, but in contrast there is real disappointment in Chicago.
“It is real disappointing,” Taj Gibson said. “We put so much work into the season, came out of countless holes.”
Joakim Noah, who revealed he had been struggling with a knee injury, insisted that he was still proud of what the team had achieved this season, but ultimately their slow starts and poor shooting plagued them throughout this series.
Elsewhere, the Memphis Grizzlies took a 3-2 lead heading into Game 6 at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder, with the two teams playing out a record fourth straight overtime game in the series.
There was drama at the end of the game as after Serge Ibaka tipped a rebound in from a three-point miss off Kevin Durant, a review revealed that it was released just after the buzzer which gave the visitors the win.
Russell Westbrook had 30 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds while Durant added 26 points, but ultimately neither were efficient enough and the Grizzlies will now look ahead to closing the game out with Mike Miller coming up big with 21 points.
In the last game of the night, the Los Angeles Clippers bounced back from their recent troubles to secure a win over the Golden State Warriors at the Staples Center.
Prior to the game, it was announced by NBA commissioner Adam Silver that Donald Sterling would face a lifetime ban and a $2.5m fine after his racist remarks, which appeared to lift the pressure on the Clippers after a stressful few days.
DeAndre Jordan had 25 points (a playoff career high), 18 rebounds and four blocks while Chris Paul added 20 points to ensure their team take a 3-2 lead heading back to Golden State for Game 6.
Washington Wizards 75-69 Chicago Bulls
Memphis Grizzlies 100-99 Oklahoma City Thunder
Golden State Warriors 103-113 Los Angeles Clippers