We haven't been able to say it much, but last night the Heat actually got off to a good start. They went on an early 12-2 run and held the lead until the Bulls went on a run of their own. Chicago outscored Miami late in the quarter 15-3 before LeBron hit a triple with just 2 seconds left, reducing the deficit to 4. Miami looked very relaxed offensively which is something we haven't seen in the beginning stages of games.
The Bulls began to build their lead in the 2nd quarter, briefly getting it up to double digits. Mike Miller came back with 5 straight points, including a triple, getting the Heat back into the swing of things. Unfortunately for Miami they couldn't put up any points over the last 1:19 of the quarter and Chicago took a series-high 7-point lead into the break.
Things got ugly in the 3rd quarter when the Bulls expanded their lead to 13, but Miami still put a little run together to go into the 4th down by 5. That is where the magic happened. It took a while though as I'm sure the fans in Chicago were pretty amped up about a Game 6, especially when Ronnie Brewer of all people hit a three with 3:53 left to put the Bulls up by 12. That's when things changed rather quickly...
I want to go over the way the game ended play by play, so we can all re-live the amazingness together. It started with D-Wade coming alive and hitting a pair of runners to get the Heat within 8, and then LeBron came down and hit a three. In the span of 56 seconds Miami went from down by 12 to down by 5, and suddenly they were back in the game.
Derrick Rose came right back and hit a very tough shot that could have been the dagger, but it wasn't. Why? Because Dwyane Wade responded by hitting his first three pointer of the series, and got fouled by Rose in the process, for the rare 4-point play. Now it's a 3-point game with 90 seconds left. The Heat defense got another stop and LeBron trotted right down the left side of the court, dribbled to the side and drilled a trey to tie the game with a minute left.
It was pretty much the LeBron show at that point, with James getting a big steal on the Bulls next possession and then methodically coming down the floor, draining the shot clock but still getting the look he wanted, hitting a jumper from behind the foul line to put the Heat ahead by 2. Derrick Rose then got to the foul line and missed the 2nd one, giving Miami the ball back with a 1-point lead.
Following a timeout, the ball got in the hands of Chris Bosh, who was quickly fouled. Bosh hit both free throws, but the Bulls had no timeouts so they had to advance the ball on their own with just over 15 seconds left. The Heat defense was suffocating, forcing Rose into a very tough shot that was blocked by LeBron, though Udonis Haslem also did a great job not fouling Rose while going straight up in the air to defend.
The amazing comeback was complete. Miami closed the game on an 18-3 run over the last 3:02, turning a 12-point deficit into a 3-point series clinching victory. This game will go down as one of the best Heat comebacks of all time, right up there with the 13-point comeback in the final 6 minutes of Game 3 back in the 2006 NBA Finals. Now Miami is going back to the finals to face the Dallas Mavericks once again. The series will begin on Tuesday night at the AAA.
- D-Wade had another bad game but covered it up with an amazing ending. He turned the ball over a playoff career-high 9 times, but his 8-points in a 92 second span made up for that.
- LeBron finished with 28 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists. He scored 8 points in a 97 second span at the end of the game while playing some ridiculous defense.
- Chris Bosh had another solid game, putting up 20 points and 10 rebounds while blocking a postseason high 4 shots.
- The Big 3 combined to go 23-of-28 from the foul line.
- Making some key contributions was Mike Miller, who hit a big 3 and also had a nice tip in, adding 6 boards. Now he gets to spend a week at home with his wife and new baby daughter, who remains in the ICU at a Broward County hospital.
- Neither Carlos Boozer or Joakim Noah played in the 4th quarter.
That's it for me. Time to get back to enjoying the moment, though the team I'm sure will get right back to work on Saturday.