Heat come out strong from the start and throttle the feckless Bulls to take a stronghold in series.
By CHRIS TOMASSONFS Florida
What happened: The
Miami Heat have taken a 3-1 lead over the Chicago Bulls with an 88-65 win Monday at Chicago in their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
The Bulls have run out of gas with injured players Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich and Luol Deng having been out all series.
It seems unlikely that the Bulls have enough energy left to win another game in this series.
Forward LeBron James led the Heat with 27 points. Heat guard Dwyane Wade, who aggravated his bruised knee in the second quarter, had just six points on 3-of-10 shooting.
The Heat held Bulls guard Nate Robinson scoreless on 0-of-12 shooting.
The turning point: The start of the game.
The Bulls have completely run out of gas. They don’t have anything left.
The Heat took advantage of that. They took a 44-33 halftime lead and cruised to victory.
The difference maker: James had a business-like game.
James scored 27 points and had seven rebounds and eight assists. He never got too high or low emotionally a game after being involved in an altercation in which he got a technical and Bulls center Nazr Mohammed was ejected.
What it means: The Heat figure to win Game 5 on Wednesday and they once again should get plenty of rest before the next series.
If the Heat wrap it up Wednesday, the soonest they could play the next round would be Saturday in Miami. They may not play until as late as May 22 if the Indiana-New York series goes seven games. The Pacers lead the series 2-1, with Game 4 on Tuesday at home.
What's next: Game 5 of the series is at 7 p.m. Wednesday at AmericanAirlines Arena.