Bulls take Game 1 in convincing fashion

Chicago Bulls’ Taj Gibson celebrates after a dunk on the Miami Heat during the first half in Game 1 of their NBA Eastern Conference Finals playoff basketball game in Chicago May 15, 2011. REUTERS/John Gress (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

According to the oddsmakers, the Bulls are the series underdog, yet they were favored to win Game 1. (Go figure.) The game was tied at 48-48 at the half, but Chicago’s 24-15 third quarter put them control heading into the final period. A 14-6 run (from the Bulls bench) to start the fourth quarter stretched the lead to 17 and Chicago cruised to a 103-82 win.

There were two big stats in the Bulls’ favor. First, they outrebounded the Heat on the offensive glass, 19-6, so that’s 13 extra possessions which contributed to 19 additional shots and five additional free throws. Couple that with the Bulls’ stellar shooting from the three point line (10-of-21) and the result is a blowout win.

Derrick Rose had 28 points and six assists, but the difference in the game was Luol Deng (21 points, seven rebounds, four steals), who absolutely outplayed LeBron James (15 points, six rebounds, six assists). Taj Gibson (nine points, seven rebounds, two blocks) combined with Carlos Boozer (14 points, nine rebounds) to offset a surprisingly good game from Chris Bosh (30 points, nine rebounds).

Game 2 is on Wednesday.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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