Starters Marco Bellinelli, Joakim Noah and Jimmy Butler, along with bench specialist Taj Gibson, scored a combined 56 points to supplement Robinson’s performance, and outrebounded the Heat, 46-32 – led by Butler’s 14 (12 of them defensive). The Bulls’ tenacity was particularly striking when one considers they were without star guard Derrick Rose and big man Luol Deng – two perennial difference-makers for Chicago come playoff time.
Some have referred to the Heat as “rusty” for having been inactive for more than a week following their first-round shellacking of the Milwaukee Bucks. But playing at home in front of a capacity playoff crowd, the Heat could only manage two players with more than 10 points – James with 24 and Dwayne Wade with 14. In fact, the Heat’s big three (James, Wade and Chris Bosh) could only manage 47 total points in addition to getting soundly beaten on the glass.