For the second consecutive game the Miami Heat have seemingly imposed their will on the Chicago Bulls. The Heat’s speed on the defensive side of the ball, the fact that they switch everything and the success that they’ve had in keeping Derrick Rose out of the lane has given them a 2-1 series lead, winning Game 3 with a final score of 95-86, and Chicago’s decisive victory in Game 1 has long since been forgotten given their play over the last two games.
Chris Bosh, the proverbial whipping boy in Miami this season, turned in yet another outstanding game with 34 points; LeBron James chipped in 22 points, 10 assists and 6 rebounds; and Dwyane Wade contributed 17 points and 9 rebounds. Udonis Haslem, the hero in Game 2, had another solid outing with 8 points and 4 rebounds in 24 minutes of play on the floor, but it was the team defense of the Heat that was the most impressive as they forced Chicago into shooting 41 percent from the field as compared to Miami’s blistering 50 percent.
For the Bulls, it was yet another struggle for Derrick Rose. He contributed 20 points on 8-19 shooting and in the fourth quarter he managed to score just 2 points on 2 field goal attempts. Miami’s scheme to keep him out of the lane has worked exceptionally well and Chicago still hasn’t figured out a way to adjust and make the game easier for him.
Carlos Boozer tuned in his best game of the postseason thus far with 26 points and 17 rebounds, but like Rose, Boozer shot just 8-19 from the field and continued to frustrate fans by missing countless layups at the rim for 3-point play opportunities. It’s hard to imagine a player putting up those kinds of numbers and still having virtually no impact on the game, but that was the case for Boozer in Game 3. Joakim Noah, who pulled a Kobe Bryant by making a homophobic slur directed at a fan behind Chicago’s bench after drawing his second foul in the 1st quarter, may have been amped up a little too much as he turned in a very disappointing line with just 1 point and 5 rebounds. He did have 6 assists in the game, but his contributions were sorely needed on the offensive and rebounding ends.
The loss Sunday night is only the second time this season that Chicago has lost back-to-back games. They’ll be looking to earn a split in Game 4 on Tuesday night in an absolute must-win game. Losing and going down 3-1 in the series to these Miami Heat will effectively mean that their season is over. —Byran Crawford (@_BryanCrawford)