Heat Bump Off Bulls, Advance to East Finals
NBA Playoffs 2013
LeBron James scored 23 points and Dwyane Wade added 18 for the Heat in beating the Chicago Bulls 94-91 Wednesday night and close out their second-round series in five games.
The Heat, who will open the East finals at home next week, started with a 10-0 lead, which swelled to 22-4 just past the midpoint of the opening quarter.
The Bulls rallied as Carlos Boozer went 6 for 7 in the opening quarter, his layup late in the period getting the Bulls within seven before James scored to end the first and give Miami a 30-21 lead.
Jimmy Butler's 3-pointer with 4:46 left in the half gave the Bulls its first advantage of the night, 38-36.
By halftime, the Bulls led 53-47, which increased biefly by 11 in the third. The Bulls took a 77-69 edge into the final 12 minutes.
Shane Battier opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer to get Miami within five. He followed it up by another 3-pointer, and connected on a pair of free throws after being fouled on a 3-point try to cut Chicago's lead to 81-79.
Norris Cole connected on a 17-foot jumper to put Miami on top, 82-81, and scored on a dunk to regain the lead, 84-83, after Richard Hamilton netted a basket for the Bulls.
Led by Wade, the Heat pulled away 93-86 with just over two minutes remaining.
Robinson's 3-pointer with 1:43 left got the Bulls to 94-91. No one scored again, even though there were plenty of chances both ways.
Boozer finished with 26 points and 14 rebounds for. Nate Robinson scored 21 points, Butler had 19, and Hamilton 15 for the Bulls, who were without Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich and Luol Deng.
The Heat will face the winner of the Indiana Pacers vs. New York Knicks series next, with the former leading 3-1.
The Knicks went 3-1 against the Heat this season, outscoring them by 11.5 points per game and winning both of their games at Miami. The Pacers went 2-1 against the Heat, winning twice in Indianapolis and losing their lone game in Miami.
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