The best of Bulls/Heat Game 5 in slo-mo [video]

I love these “Phantom” clips that the NBA produces…

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Heat pull out Game 5 win, advance to Finals

With just over three minutes to play, the Heat trailed by 12 points and it looked like the series would be headed back to Miami for Game 6. But then LeBron James and Dwyane Wade got hot, combining for 16 points in the next two and a half minutes, and led the Heat on an 18-3 run to close the game.

Miami’s ‘Big 3’ combined to score 69 of the team’s 83 points.

Game 1 of the Finals is on Tuesday. The Heat have home court advantage because they won one more game than the Mavs during the regular season.

Heat win Game 4, take 3-1 lead in series

Chicago Bulls’ Joakim Noah (R) dives for the ball held by Miami Heat’s Udonis Haslem as Miami’s LeBron James looks on during Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Finals NBA basketball series in Miami, May 24, 2011. REUTERS/Joe Skipper (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

The Miami Heat are one game away from the NBA Finals after their 101-93 overtime win against Chicago.

The Bulls had their chances in this one, but like the Thunder last night, they just couldn’t get quality looks in crunch time. And for all the (justifiable) criticism that Russell Westbrook has taken over the last couple of weeks, Derrick Rose has really struggled of late, shooting just 33% over the last three games (all losses), including a pretty dreadful 1-for-7, two-turnover effort in the 4th quarter and overtime tonight. He had seven turnovers on the evening.

One could argue that Rose has to play super-aggressive basketball since he doesn’t have someone like Kevin Durant to carry the load, and they’d be right. But the bottom line is that the Bulls aren’t going to win when Rose is only making 33% of his attempts and has more turnovers than assists.

But back to the Heat, who deserve credit for their smothering defense tonight. They forced Rose into all sorts of mistakes and held the Bulls to just 40% shooting from the field.

But the most glaring difference in this game was Mike Miller. He scored 12 points (on 5-of-8 shooting) and gathered nine boards off the bench. He was especially big in the fourth quarter when Miami made its run; he went 4-for-4 (for nine points) to go with three rebounds. That’s the kind of play that Pat Riley envisioned when he signed Miller to a full mid-level deal last summer.

LeBron single-handedly closes out Game 2

Miami Heat forwards LeBron James (L) and Mike Miller celebrate after a score during the fourth quarter of game 2 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center in Chicago on May 18, 2011. The Heat won 85-75 to even the best of seven series 1-1. UPI/Brian Kersey

The game was tied 73-73 with 4:28 to play when LeBron James hit a three-pointer. He followed it up with a 14-foot jumper to give the Heat a five-point lead. After a Taj Gibson inside shot and two free throws from Dwyane Wade, LeBron scored on a putback and then hit a 20-footer to give Miami a nine-point lead with 0:47 to play, effectively pounding the final nail in the coffin.

LeBron posted 29 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and three steals, while Wade added 24 points and nine rebounds in the defensive slugfest. Derrick Rose had an off night, hitting just 7-of-23 shots for 21 points to go along with eight assists and six rebounds. What’s lost in all the talk about Chicago’s defense is that Miami’s defense is almost as good. They were terrific tonight in containing Rose and limiting the Bulls to just 34% shooting from the field. Chicago went a dreadful 3-for-20 from three-point range and made just 16-of-26 free throws.

And just like that, the Heat have regained control of the series, which moves to Miami on Sunday.

Taj Gibson’s dunk on Wade in super slo mo [video]

This is pretty awesome, outside of the failed chest bump/high five with Omer Asik after the dunk.

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