Nate Robinson scored a game-high 27 points – including 11 in 4th quarter – as the Chicago Bulls rubbed out a 7-point deficiency in the final quarter in a 93-86 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the 2nd-round Eastern Conference playoff series at American Airlines Arena.
Top-seeded Miami Heat entered the final quarter leading 5th-seeded Chicago Bulls 62-58.
LeBron James connected on 5 of his first 6 fourth-quarter shots for 15 of his 24 points. He had only 2 points at halftime.
The Heat went up 76-69 on his 3-point play with 6:30 left, but the Chicago Bulls countered with 7 straight points, punctuated by Marco Belinelli’s bucket from long distance.
James’ two free throws handed Miami an 83-81 advantage. Robinson answered with his own pair of foul shots. James helped Chris Bosh’s dunk. Chicago missed a bucket, but James made just one of 2 foul shots that left the door open for Belinelli’s game-tying 3 with just below 5 minutes left.
After a missed jumper by Bosh, Robinson’s jumper put Chicago up 88-86 with 1:18 left. Dwyane Wade could not finish on a 3-pointer and Robinson extended the lead to 4 with a floater with 45 seconds left.
In the 3rd quarter, Carlos Boozer’s dunk with 6:26 remaining handed Chicago Bulls a 49-46 lead. Wade scored 6 of the next 9 Heat points as Miami Heat captured an advantage with 4:27 left in the quarter.
Yet when it looked the Heat would begin to pull away, the Bulls answered back with a bucket of their own.
Robinson, who left the game in the 2nd quarter with a cut upper lip caused while diving for a loose ball, scored 13 in the quarter. He made 3 three -pointers.
In the second quarter, Nazr Mohammed’s basket put the Bulls up by a game-high 8 points before Miami rattled off 10 straight – 9 from the duo of Ray Allen and Wade. The latter’s jumper gave the Heat their first lead – 25-23 – with 8:13 left in the second.
The Bulls turned the ball over 7 times in the quarter, including 4 of 5 possessions in a stretch immediately following Mohammed’s lay-up.
Though the Heat went up 35-30 on a Wade fastbreak layup, Bulls scored 7 of the following 9 points to even it at 37 heading into halftime.
Both teams started the game cold, combining to go 8 of 29 from the field before Chicago closed out the quarter sinking its last 3 shots, taking a 21-15 lead. Football betting lines
The Heat seemed as if they had a week off between games, missing their first 7 shots from the field and falling behind 8-2.
Miami’s first bucket came with 6:37 remaining in the quarter on Udonis Haslem’s bucket, trimming the deficit to 8-4. Until that point, the Heat had more fouls (3) than points.
Shane Battier, who didn’t knock down 3 open 3-pointers off the bench, finally connected on the fourth. The Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat had missed the first 9 from downtown.
After shooting 49.7 percent from the field in the first round against Milwaukee Bucks, the Chicago Heat went just 5 of 19 (.263) in its lowest-scoring opening quarter of the season.