The Miami Heat now lead the Chicago Bulls 3-1 in the Eastern Conference Finals. Here’s what went down in Game 4 Monday in Miami:
The AP reports:
LeBron James scored 35 points, Chris Bosh added 22 and Dwyane Wade perked up to block as many shots—two—as Chicago made in overtime, as the Heat topped the Bulls 101-93 in a scintillating Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals on Tuesday night to take a 3-1 lead in the series…
Derrick Rose scored 23 points for the Bulls, who got 20 apiece from Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer. Chicago has lost three straight games for the first time this season, and afterward, the league’s reigning MVP pointed the finger of blame at himself.
“It’s not over,” said Rose, who shot 8 of 27 and turned the ball over seven times…
Somehow, it wasn’t a problem. A sleep-deprived Mike Miller—whose wife delivered a baby last week—scored 12 points and made plenty of key defensive plays to help Miami outscore Chicago by a whopping 36 points with him on the floor. Udonis Haslem missed all five of his shots, and he was still a plus-25 in his 33 minutes off the bench…
James was 11 for 26 from the field and 13 for 13—his best playoff showing ever—from the foul line. Bosh was aggressive again, making 10 of his 11 free throws. Miami made its last 24 straight from the stripe, and the defense was again the biggest key of all…
Wade made just 5 of 16 shots from the field, lacking his usual lift at the rim. He made a pair of free throws with 1:50 left in the first half for his seventh and eighth points, and didn’t score again until overtime…
Chicago’s lead was 46-44 at halftime, after some wild emotional swings—a 19-4 run by the Bulls, followed by a 29-9 spurt for the Heat, then capped by an 18-7 rebuttal by the Bulls to close the second quarter.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports:
“This series is an absolute bloodbath,” coach Erik Spoelstra said when the three-hour marathon was over, “and that game tonight was a total grind. It is very challenging for either team to get into any kind of fluid offensive flow. It is about as competitive and physical as it could be.”
With Miller scoring 12 points on a night Wade was limited to 14 on 5-of-16 shooting, the Heat rode the 35 points of James and 22 more from forward Chris Bosh to a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference finals, with the best-of-seven series continuing Thursday at the United Center.
“If you’re a fan of the game,” Wade said, “this is a great basketball game. This is will, and both teams showed that. We made the plays at the end to eventually pull away.”
The Heat closed out the game by converting their final 24 free throws.
“It was about enduring and stay with it mentally and physically,” Spoelstra said.
The Miami Herald reports:
The Heat won despite shooting 40.3 percent in regulation. Miami made five of eight shots in overtime. James led the Heat with 35 points on 11-of-26 shooting. He was also 11 of 11 at the free-throw line and had half the Heat’s 12 assists.
Bosh finished with 22 points on 6-of-12 shooing. He and James both had six rebounds. Wade had 14 points on 5-of-16 shooting to go along with five rebounds.
The Heat made its final 24 free throws of the game and was 32 of 38 overall. Chicago was 17 of 22 from the free-throw line.
Defensively, Heat center Joel Anthony had five rebounds and four blocks. Mike Miller had 12 points off the bench for the Heat and Mario Chalmers had nine.
MVP Derrick Rose led the Bulls with 23 points but, closely defended by James, missed his chance to win the game at the end of the fourth quarter. Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer had 20 points each.So close for Chicago. As with any game that goes overtime, this easily could have gone the other way.
This is a great series for anyone who enjoys watching great defense. For a good time, watch the help defenders on every possession.
Live fan discussion of the game took place in this forum topic.