Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Heat 101, Bulls 93 (OT)
By Nick Friedell
MIAMI -- Let's take a quick look at how the Miami Heat earned a 101-93 overtime win over the Chicago Bulls in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals on Tuesday night at American Airlines Arena. The Heat lead the series 3-1.
How it happened: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh took over for the Heat in overtime, scoring all of the team's 16 points as the Bulls made uncharacteristically poor decisions in the waning moments, including several head-scratching turnovers. Derrick Rose had 23 points, but he also committed seven turnovers. Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer each had 20 points. The Bulls had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation but Rose air-balled a jumper as the clock ran out. The Bulls will be kicking themselves for not closing this one out when they had the chance.
What it means: The Bulls have said repeatedly that they could gain playoff experience on the fly and that it wasn't as important as many believe. Having watched the Bulls implode in the final minutes, it sounds like the players were just wrong. They couldn't get any shots to fall, and it was clear that James and Wade, two players who had been through the battles of the playoffs, took over the game in overtime and rose to the occasion. Along with Bosh, they made plays when they had to and played lockdown defense on a Bulls team that seemed to wilt under the pressure. The Bulls will learn from this experience, but the series may well be over given how difficult it will be for the Bulls to knock off the Heat three straight times.
Stats of the night: The Bulls outscored the Heat 44-24 in the paint and still lost. The Bulls turned the ball over 19 times. For the first time all year, the Bulls have lost three in a row.
What's next: The Bulls hit the practice floor on Wednesday afternoon and try to get mentally prepared for Game 5 on Thursday night in Chicago.