The Heat got great production from their star forward LeBron James, who scored 27 points and added 7 rebounds and 8 assists – despite five turnovers. In fact, Miami doubled up Chicago in assists, 24-12. James was joined in double-figure scoring by Chris Bosh, who had 14 points and 6 rebounds; but the third member of Miami’s dominating triumvirate, Dwyane Wade, struggled with only 6 points on 3-of-10 shooting from the floor. The Heat also got some good production off the bench from guard Norris Cole, who added 7 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists in 21 minutes, and Chris “Birdman” Andersen, who contributed 9 points and 4 rebounds in just under 14 minutes of court time.
As demoralized as this Bulls team was in the game, it was curious, to say the least, that Miami coach Erik Spoelstra chose to leave James and Bosh in for nearly 80 combined minutes. One could reasonably conclude that the Heat are not taking any chances in their effort to finish this series in five games to reach the Eastern Conference finals again.
Memphis Proves That to Prevail, You Must Go Inside
It’s been said many times that if you’re a team that fights hard inside, you will generally win, and if you’re a perimeter scoring team, you won’t. Memphis, up two games to one in their Western Conference semifinal playoff against Oklahoma City, confirmed this in textbook fashion as they defeated the Thunder, 103-97, in overtime to leave Oklahoma City teetering on the brink of elimination.