On Sunday night the Miami Heat defeated the Chicago Bulls 96-85 to take a two games to one lead in the Eastern Conference Finals. The win was also Miami's seventh in seven tries at home so far this postseason.
However, the surprising part may be the fact that neither LeBron James nor Dwyane Wade had outstanding games for Miami. In fact, the two combined for just 39 points, just six more than their total of 33 when they suffered a blowout in game one in Chicago.
Chris Bosh, on the other hand, also looked like the Chris Bosh from game one of the series, dominating offensively and adding 34 points on 13 of 18 shooting. After missing his first three shots of the game, Bosh turned it on and never even thought about looking back.
Something even more surprising? The Heat were beat pretty handily on the boards, just like game one, by a count of 41 to 32.
So how exactly did the Heat manage to pull off this win? After all, the statline looks a whole lot like game one.
Well, the answer is simple - defense. Miami held the Bulls to another miserable night of shooting at just over 41 percent. As a matter of fact, the Bulls have yet to shoot higher than 42 percent this entire series.
Though perhaps more importantly and on an individual standpoint, the Heat held Derrick Rose to just 20 points on 8 of 19 shooting with only five assists. For a second straight game the young star was shut down and forced into making bad decisions.
Along with its strong defense, Miami also once again rode a James late game takeover to victory. James scored 10 of his 22 points in the final quarter, sealing the deal for the Heat to take the series lead.
Tuesday will most likely be even more of a physical battle, as both teams will be gunning for the win, especially Chicago, who essentially now faces a must-win situation.
No one wants to go down three games to one.
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