Apr 20, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) drives around Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler (21) during the second quarter of game one of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Playoffs: Bradley Beal Lights Up Chicago, Scores 26 Points in OT Win [Full Video Highlights]


Bradley Beal has shown up in some big moments for the Washington Wizards in his young career and he continued to do so last night against the Chicago Bulls.

Despite leading by as much as 17 points, the Wizards looked like they were on their way to dropping a winnable game on the road, and the Bulls were going to tie the series up before heading to the nation’s capital this Friday night. Needless to say, that didn’t happen.

Chicago’s struggles on the offensive side of the floor have been well documented, but they’ve also gotten plenty of credit for their elite defense. Jimmy Butler has been one of the league’s best defenders, but Bradley Beal was able to overcome it en route to a 26 point performance and a Wizards win in overtime.

Beal continued to knock down shots in crucial moments, including a three point bomb over Joakim Noah to bring the Wizards back within three points in the fourth quarter. Instead of constantly settling for long two point shots, Beal made 4 of his 7 three point tries, but also attacked the basket willingly right out of the gate.

Bradley Beal's shot chart against the Chicago Bulls in Game 2, via ESPN

Bradley Beal’s shot chart against the Chicago Bulls in Game 2, via ESPN

-shot chart via ESPN

Beal’s size, or lack thereof, was a concern for Wizards fans prior to the NBA Draft in 2012, but it’s pretty clear that hasn’t been an issue, especially against one of the league’s most physical teams. Beal grabbed 7 rebounds last night, most of them coming in traffic, but he also finished at the basket through contact.

Now that the Washington Wizards are getting national recognition for gaining a 2-0 series lead against the Chicago Bulls, Bradley Beal has also gotten some much needed exposure. We all know he’s a spectacular young player, and I’m glad everyone else is finally beginning to open their eyes as well.

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