LeBron James scored 35 points, Chris Bosh added 22 and Wade perked up to block as many shots – two -as Chicago made in overtime, as the Heat topped the Bulls 101-93 in a scintillating Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals on Tuesday night, according to sports.yahoo.com.
Miami will go for the clincher Thursday in Chicago, where the Heat can wrap up their first finals trip since 2006.
“It’s one game away,” James said. “We’re not taking anything for granted.”
Derrick Rose scored 23 points for the Bulls, who got 20 apiece from Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer. Chicago has lost three straight games for the first time this season, and afterward, the league’s reigning MVP pointed the finger of blame at himself.
“It’s not over,” said Rose, who shot 8 of 27 and turned the ball over seven times.
Still, some doubt may be creeping in. Chicago had its chances, and knew it, but was unable to take advantage of a largely off night by Wade. Rose was guarded in the game’s biggest minutes by James, and the MVP from 2009 and 2010 had the upper hand against this season’s MVP.
“It’s extremely hard,” Rose acknowledged, “when a 6-8 guy can easily defend you.”
The Heat were down by 11 early, led for only 4 1/2 minutes in the third and fourth quarters, and had Wade stuck on eight points from late in the second until past the midpoint of overtime.
A sleep-deprived Mike Miller – whose wife delivered a baby last week – scored 12 points and made plenty of key defensive plays to help Miami outscore Chicago by a whopping 36 points with him on the floor. Udonis Haslem missed all five of his shots, and he was still a plus-25 in his 33 minutes off the bench.
“We know offensively, at times, we have rough stretches,” James said. “But we give ourselves chances to win every game because we defend.”
James was 11 for 26 from the field and 13 of 13 – his best playoff showing ever—from the foul line. Bosh was aggressive again, making 10 of his 11 free throws. Miami made its last 24 straight from the stripe, and the defense was again the biggest key of all.
“Defense is the reason that we’re here,” Bosh said. “Defense is the reason that we win every game. And defense is the reason why we have a chance of winning Game 5.”
From the Miami perspective, this game will be remembered for how the Heat rallied around Wade – then watched him save his best for last.