The Chicago Bulls improbable run ended on Wednesday night in their 94-91 loss to the Miami Heat in Game 5. The Bulls trailed early in the first quarter as the Heat looked as if they were trying to put the game away early.
But Chicago showed plenty of fight and for nearly three quarters, looked as if they would actually be able to steal the fifth game in the series. But in the end, playing on the road and the talents of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade proved to be too much for the undermanned Bulls and their season comes to an end at the hands of the Heat for the second time in three years.
As they’ve shown all series long – and throughout the playoffs – the Bulls aren’t going to go down without a fight. Carlos Boozer (26 points, 14 rebounds) made his impact on the game early and seemed to the set the team’s offensive tone. Jimmy Butler (19 points, five rebounds) ended his season on a high note, scoring the ball well on one end and doing a decent job defensively on LeBron James at the other end. Nate Robinson (21 points, five rebounds, six assists) snapped back from his scoreless outing in Game 4 and also played well. Finally, Rip Hamilton (15 points) was huge in the game considering he’d been pulled from the rotation and buried at the end of the bench during the postseason. The Bulls outrebounded the Heat 40-32 (15-6 on the offensive glass) and outscored Miami in the paint 34-30.
The Bulls were outscored in the fourth quarter 25-14 and allowed the Heat to shoot 50 percent from the field in the final stanza. LeBron James was also 0-4 from the field and scored just four points – all at the free-throw line – and Chicago still couldn’t find a way to win.
The Bulls turned the ball over 16 times and the Heat converted those giveaways into 27 points. Joakim Noah (three points, nine rebounds) didn’t have his best game offensively, going 1-5 from the field in the loss. Marco Belinelli (three points) also struggled going 1-3 from the field, as did Taj Gibson (two points, one rebound) who went 1-4 shooting.
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