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Bulls put up a fight before Heat eventually cruise to victory

Apr 14, 2013, 4:32 PM EDT

Heat's Wade moves against Bulls' Hinrich in the first half of their NBA basketball game in Miami

Chicago’s performance in Miami on Sunday was yet another in a long series of them that makes you believe that no team would look forward to playing the Bulls in a seven-game series.

The Heat eventually cruised to a 105-93 victory, exacting some minor measure of revenge on the Bulls for beating Miami in Chicago back on March 27, which put an end to the Heat’s historic 27-game winning streak. But it wasn’t as easy as expected.

Miami had rested its stars off and on for the past week or so, but went with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh in this one. The Heat wanted to make sure to get this win over the Bulls, while not having too much rest for any of its star players before they open the playoffs at home against the Bucks next weekend.

The Heat tried to put this one away early, and looked like they might do so after a big dunk from James down the middle of the lane pushed the Miami lead to 15 points with just over five minutes remaining in the first half.

But the trait of this Bulls team that makes them so tough is the way they keep playing at maximum intensity, no matter the score. It also doesn’t hurt to have someone like Nate Robinson coming off the bench, who can occasionally catch fire.

Robinson sparked a spirited comeback that helped the Bulls cut the lead to just two before halftime. He scored 10 points in the final 3:34 of the second quarter, and pushed the tempo to get his teammates easy and open looks in transition.

Miami had its lead back to double digits just over midway through the third, and it hovered there for essentially the rest of the game. You never got the feeling Chicago was going to be able to make enough of a run to close the gap in the second half, once the Heat clamped down and tightened their rotations defensively.

At the same time, it never felt like Miami would blow this one open, either.

James said before the game that he was looking forward to the physical play of the Bulls, but the referees didn’t share that same sentiment. There were 57 fouls called over the course of the game, distributed fairly evenly with the Bulls picking up 30 to the Heat’s 27. But Chicago got the short end of the whistles early, and had 14 personal fouls called on them in the game’s first 18 minutes.

Miami won as expected, and Chicago competed as expected. There wasn’t anything new to be learned from this contest so late in the season, but the Bulls did seem to confirm the fears of the rest of the teams in the Eastern Conference playoffs — that they’ll be an extremely tough out, no matter the matchup.

  1. melkipershero - Apr 14, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    As a Lebron fan (I dont even try to act like a Heat fan), all superstars/big market teams get the whistles. Its the NBA way.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 14, 2013 at 8:30 PM

      Not all.

      Knicks don’t.

      Melo DEFINITELY doesn’t. Exhibit #80 was today as he was hacked clear out of the game.

      • Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 14, 2013 at 8:30 PM

        With only three calls, when West and Hibbert were butchering him blatantly for 3 quarters.

    • gmsingh - Apr 15, 2013 at 8:42 AM

      David Stern has the officials propping up the Heat as the money maker of the league. After the fifth time Van Gundy said “I don’t really see the penalty there” (when they changed the call to the phony “clear path” foul in the 3rd quarter) I turned off the game and wrote an email to the White House asking for investigations. Even if you don’t believe there is something fixed in these games, if you look at the way officiating is regarded in all 3 other professional sports compared to the NBA, something is obviously rotten in Denmark. The fouls aren’t just bad, they’re blatantly bad, and announcers that make their money off being a part of the NBA comment on it in every game. But here’s the real test: add up the trips to the foul line for the Heat compared to any other team in the league. In the playoffs last year the Heat had more than 60% more trips to the foul line than any other team. The league is obviously fixed. I hope people start trying to take action about it.

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Apr 15, 2013 at 10:32 AM

        Did you write a letter when Boozer commited offensive goal tending but they called it on LeBron, giving the Buills 2 points they didn’t deserve?

        As for Free Throws, all the Bulls say and do is intentionally get physical with the Heat. They won two weeks ago, so they were celebrated for it. You can’t plan on committing a ton of fouls, and then complain when you get called for a ton of fouls.

      • gmsingh - Apr 15, 2013 at 12:47 PM

        That’s all you’ve got–Boozer wasn’t called for the less blatant infraction?

      • miamatt - Apr 15, 2013 at 11:03 AM

        They don’t comment on it every game, and you greatly exaggerate Van Gundy’s stance yesterday. Your “analysis” is petty, small, and weak.

        Fun fact: Miami is tenth in the league in FT attempts per game, and they are closer to 25th place then they are to 5th.

        A letter to the White House, OMG are you serious???

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:38 PM

        The Heat losing is better for the league. Keeps things interesting.

      • gmsingh - Apr 17, 2013 at 7:49 AM

        Completely disagree. Stern wants another Michael Jordan–LeBron has the skills, but is a pantywaist mentally.

  2. rickyspanish - Apr 14, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    Chris Hansen upped the bid by $25 million smackers to sweeten the pot for the Kings. Maybe this should’ve been reported by one of the fine journalists on this site two days ago.

    • phaden27 - Apr 14, 2013 at 5:31 PM

      Seems like you found out that information just fine elsewhere.
      Why don’t you take a seat?

      • rickyspanish - Apr 14, 2013 at 6:12 PM

        If you’re willing to settle for seven articles a day while five of them are about Kobe’s injury, that’s fine. I love the format of this site and want more content about news, not what shoes a player is going to wear.

      • nickjackalson - Apr 15, 2013 at 7:12 AM

        Yeay..I heard there were like 30 teams playing..wait..the Lakers, the Heat..who else..?

    • phaden27 - Apr 14, 2013 at 6:19 PM

      Fair enough.
      I was just making a joke at your expense.
      Feel free to continue asking for different content.

      • rickyspanish - Apr 14, 2013 at 6:38 PM

        Point, counterpoint and resolution. This is the most civil discussion I’ve ever had on this site, thank you sir.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 14, 2013 at 8:31 PM

      You weren’t complaining when there were 8 straight articles about the Heat. Go play in traffic blindfolded.

      • rickyspanish - Apr 14, 2013 at 8:55 PM

        Miami was on a historic run, a little different than an injury. Got any other cliched insults to throw at me?

      • lmoneyfresh - Apr 16, 2013 at 11:25 AM

        He’s just sad that the Knicks didn’t get as much pub for their little run.

  3. melkipershero - Apr 14, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    They will…next week

  4. dolphindubs - Apr 14, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    Chris Hansen?!?!

    “Do you know who I am? Well, I’m Chris Hansen and we’re doing a story on….”

  5. asublimeday - Apr 14, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    I’m a bulls fan but one of the games greatest ever on a team in the thick of a playoff race having a stellar individual season just blew out his Achilles. Be tolerant of a few days of news rush about it.

    • rickyspanish - Apr 14, 2013 at 6:39 PM

      I totally agree, maybe my example could’ve been better.

      • Kansachusetts - Apr 14, 2013 at 8:33 PM

        No, there were seven posts in a row about Kobe. Ten in all since the injury. Four of the nine headlines on the NBA page are about Kobe. It is too much. You were right.

      • Kansachusetts - Apr 14, 2013 at 8:35 PM

        Actually, there were only nine in all. But my point remains, as does yours.

  6. cj1403 - Apr 15, 2013 at 9:08 AM

    Because Miami is constantly driving the lanes. Melo doesn’t get calls because he mostly shoots jump shots. Didn’t he have a game the other day where all his points where out of the paint?

    • rodyaugu - Apr 16, 2013 at 11:50 AM

      Don’t listen to knicks fans melo attempt more FTs per game than Lebron and Wade. They should look at the stats before making judgments.

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