Veteran made eight 3-pointers to score 35 points in key performance.
Already 2-0 down in the series, the Chicago Bulls had an inspirational Mike Dunleavy shoot them to victory against the Washington Wizards on Friday night.
With their playoff hopes in the balance after dropping the first two games at home, the Bulls knew that Game 3 was must-win, and with Dunleavy going 12 of 19 from the field, he scored 35 points to guide them to the all-important victory.
“Coach mentioned some stuff about getting me some more catch-and-shoot situations, and we did that tonight,” Dunleavy said. “A couple of easy layups early on got me going, and I just had one of those nights.”
Nevertheless, the 33-year-old quickly refocused minds to Game 4 on Sunday and insists that the Bulls must win that game too in order to get themselves back in the series, as they would become only the fourth ever team to win a seven-game series after losing the first two at home.
Bradley Beal guaranteed at half-time that Dunleavy wouldn’t score again but he was proven wrong, while the influential Nene could miss Game 4 after being ejected for an altercation with Jimmy Butler.
While the Brazilian will undoubtedly face a fine, it remains to be seen whether or not a suspension follows which would be a significant blow for Washington.
Staying in the Eastern Conference, the Brooklyn Nets were able to hold off the Toronto Raptors with Joe Johnson scoring 29 points.
Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Deron Williams were all key in sealing the victory as their experience and playoff grit ultimately made the difference while DeMar DeRozan had 30 points for the visitors who have now lost 13 straight road playoff games.
Over in the West, the Houston Rockets fought back in their series with the Portland Trail Blazers with an overtime win on the road.
James Harden snapped out of his slump while Omer Asik did a better job on limiting LaMarcus Aldridge, but rookie Troy Daniels made the difference as he hit a three-pointer with 11.9 seconds left to lift the Rockets.
Harden had a career playoff-best 37 points, Dwight Howard added 24 points and 14 rebounds, as Aldridge was held to just 23 points which in turn left Damian Lillard as the hosts top-scorer with 30.
Having now seemingly broken out of their slump in losing the first two games, the Rockets will be focused on tying the series in Game 4 on Sunday.
Toronto Raptors 98-102 Brooklyn Nets
Chicago Bulls 100-97 Washington Wizards
Houston Rockets 121-116 Portland Trail Blazers