Taj Gibson was just as mystified as everyone else in the United Center when it came to the sequence late in the fourth quarter on Tuesday.
With the score tied at 91-91, Kirk Hinrich missed a jumper and Gibson got the offensive rebound. The Bulls set it back up and this time D.J. Augustin missed a running bank shot, and again Gibson got his hands on the rebound.
The ball was knocked out of his hands and Gibson dove on it in front of Washington's bench. Replays showed Gibson had control of the ball and he seemed to yell for a timeout.
He didn't get one. Referee Bennie Adams instead called a jump ball.
"I called (timeout) three times," Gibson said Wednesday at the Berto Center. "I had it. Nobody else was around me. D.J. called it a couple times. We had a lot of guys in his face. He didn't give us a timeout."
That was only half of it. On the jump ball, Washington's Nene used one arm to shove Gibson out of the way while using the other arm to tip the ball to a teammate. No violation was called, even though it seemed obvious.
"He just pushed me out of the way," Gibson said. "I didn't know you can do that. You learn something new every day. Can you do that? He took my whole arm and just threw me. ... You look at the film, he hits (referee) Joey (Crawford) in the face while he does it, so I don't know what to say."
The Bulls didn't get a chance at the last shot in regulation and the way they struggled to score late in the fourth quarter, that was no sure thing. On the other end, Washington's Bradley Beal missed a jumper and the game went to overtime.
At the end of overtime, Nene could be seen whistling from the Wizards bench as Hinrich attempted a free throw with 2.4 seconds on the clock. Hinrich could have tied the score by making both shots, but he missed the first.
Nene fouled out on Hinrich's drive to the basket and that turned out to be more bad luck for the Bulls, since Joakim Noah was in a good spot to follow in the miss.
Chuck calls the series:
With the Bulls trailing Washington 2-0, TNT analyst Charles Barkley was among the first to declare this first-round series over. He predicted a Wizards sweep during Tuesday's broadcast.
"This team is loaded," Barkley said of the Wizards. "They are good at every position. I don't know if they have enough experience to go deep in the playoffs, but they are going to win this series."
About the Bulls' lack of late-game scoring, Barkley said, "It's about adjustments. They can't match up with the Wizards starting five. Every guy on that team is a really good scorer. You can play great defense, but at some point you have to score and the Bulls just can't score."
At the Berto Center on Wednesday, Taj Gibson shook off the gloomy predictions.
"We can't worry about what other people think. If that was the case, we would have been worrying about the next lottery pick, worrying about where we're going in the summer and a lot of things," he said. "Right now, we're focused on the task at hand. We've still got more games in front of us."
Wall lets dogs out:
Washington's John Wall continued to ignore reality when speaking after the Wizards' Game 2 overtime victory.
"We're still the underdogs," Wall said. "We have to understand what it took to win these two games and how much more it is going to take to win Game 3."
Wizards coach Randy Wittman referenced his college coach after Tuesday's game.
"I am an old-school coach. I come from Bobby Knight (at Indiana). You had to play defense," said Wittman, who is in the playoffs for the first time as a head coach. "I still think defense wins at this stage. Our guys from last year really bought into that."
D.J. Augustin and Taj Gibson both received a few votes for the NBA's Most Improved Player award, which was won by Phoenix guard Gordan Dragic. … Augustin (25 points) and Gibson (22) both set career playoff highs in Game 2 on Tuesday.