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Dong Secuya
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NBA -- Bulls pull Game 1 shocker in Miami


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO - Without Derrick Rose, Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich, the fifth-seeded Chicago Bulls were supposed to be easy pickings for the top-seeded Miami Heat when their best-of-7 Eastern Conference semifinal went underway Monday night at the American Airlines Arena.

But a combination of tight defense and a fourth quarter explosion proved to be the perfect recipe for an upset.

The Bulls held the Heat to just 31 of 78 from the field (39.7 percent), including 7-for-24 from three-point range (29.2 percent). And they erased a four-point deficit entering the fourth quarter by going on a 35-24 surge in the final 12 minutes of play.

Bulls guard Nate Robinson served up another gutsy performance with 27 points, 22 in the second half where he took 10 stitches for a busted upper lip. Jimmy Butler played a full 48 minutes for a third straight game and still managed 21 points and 14 boards while Joakim Noah added 13 points, 11 rebounds and four assists. Taj Gibson and Marco Belinelli combined for 22 points in Chicago's balanced offensive attack.

Game 2 resumes Wednesday night at the American Airlines Arena.

LeBron James, who received his fourth MVP award in five years from NBA commissioner David Stern during a pre-game ceremony, had another all-around fare with 24 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. But The King went just 8-of-17 form the field and he couldn't save the Heat from the Bulls, who finished Game 1 with a 10-0 tear.

Photo: Jimmy Butler (R) tries to shake off Miami's Dwyane Wade as the Chicago Bulls escaped with a 93-86 in Game 1 of their playoffs semifinal.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Homer D. Sayson.


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