John Wall scored 24 points to lead the Washington Wizards to a 75-69 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday and into the second round of the NBA playoffs.
Wall added seven rebounds and four assists in the victory, which gave the Wizards a 4-1 triumph over the Bulls in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference first-round series.
Meanwhile in the Western Conference, Mike Miller scored 21 points as Memphis edged Oklahoma City 100-99 in yet another overtime thriller to take the lead in their series.
Washington’s Brazilian big man Nene, who returned after serving his one-game suspension for grabbing the head of Chicago’s Jimmy Butler’s in game three, scored 20 points and pulled down seven rebounds.
Bradley Beal added 17 points for the Wizards, who are in the playoffs for the first time since 2008. They last won a post-season series in 2005, when they beat the Bulls in the first round.
The fifth-seeded Wizards will face Indiana or Atlanta in the second round.
Kirk Hinrich and Butler netted 16 points apiece for the Bulls, who shot just 33.3 per cent from the floor and scored only 11 points in the third quarter.
The Grizzlies took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series as the evenly matched clubs went to overtime for an unprecedented fourth straight game.
The victory was confirmed after Thunder forward Serge Ibaka’s tip-in was ruled too late – just a fraction of a second after the buzzer to end overtime sounded.
Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook stripped Mike Conley at the top of the key and drove for an uncontested layup with four seconds left in regulation as the Thunder forced overtime.
Thunder star Kevin Durant had a chance to equalise again late in overtime.
But after he had hit the first of two free throw attempts with 27.5 seconds remaining, referee Joey Crawford physically stopped the 87 per cent free throw shooter from attempting his second try as a problem at the scorer’s table was resolved.
When Durant play resumed, Durant bounced his second attempt off the rim, and he hit the rim again on a tough jump shot as the clock was winding down.
Ibaka’s acrobatic follow-up went in, but a review showed it left his hand after time expired.