Heat close out Bulls 94-91 in Game 5, move on to Eastern Conference Finals

USA TODAY Sports

The Heat were up by 18 in the first quarter, but found themselves down by double digits in the second half before they closed out the Bulls.

The Miami Heat survived a monumental collapse against the Chicago Bulls to win the series 4-1 and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the third consecutive season, a franchise record.

The Heat came out extremely hot, going up 22-4 and making it seem like the series was over before the first media time-out. But the pesky Bulls wouldn't go away. The Bulls fought back as the Heat missed their shots, and Chicago had a 53-47 halftime lead. In the second half, the Bulls had a double digit lead before the Heat eventually made their way back to the top.

The Heat's climb back was sparked by a spirited better play by Dwyane Wade who had 18 points and 6 assists, as he played 37 minutes. Wade had a put back dunk and some euro-step type plays of his former self that sparked the crowd as he played with more passion than his previous games. Norris Cole ignited the crowd as he dunked over the defense of Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah. Shane Battier connected on two shots from distance to close the gap after missing his previous four. And as always LeBron James played well with 23 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists.

The Bulls were guided by Carlos Boozer who had a game high 26 points and 14 rebounds. Richard Hamilton took most of Marco Bellineli's minutes and was effective throughout with his shooting.

But Chicago couldn't close out the miracle. Down 3 with seconds left the Bulls couldn't connect on a game tying three and time ran out on them and their season. Despite the technicals, hard play, and harsh words, the Bulls played a tough series in light of their circumstances. But they didn't have enough to force a Game 6 against the defending champs. Miami won the game 94-91.

The Heat won a series 4-1 for the sixth time in the Big 3 era.

Miami now awaits the winner of the Indiana Pacers and the New York Knicks in the Eastern Conference Finals.



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