Many NBA observers thought it was a foregone conclusion that the Miami Heat would represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals after they sent the Boston Celtics home after winning their second round series in five games. Well the Chicago Bulls apparently were not impressed with what the Heat did in the previous round as they held their opponents to just 34 points in the second half as they pummeled Miami 103-82 Sunday in the first game of the Eastern Conference Finals. Derrick Rose scored 28 points for the Bulls while Luol Deng contributed 21 points in the victory. Chris Bosh knocked down a game high 30 points but did not have enough help from his teammates to keep the Heat in the game.
Heat forward LeBron James had predicted earlier this week that there would not be any high scoring games in the match-up between Miami and Chicago. It looked as if James was correct during the opening period as both clubs had trouble scoring. Dwyane Wade would hit a nine foot shot down the stretch and the Heat would have a 23-20 advantage at the end of the first. The Bulls held a two point lead with five seconds to play in the second when James knocked down an outside jumper. The score would be deadlocked at 48-48 as the game reached the half.
The contest remained close through the early portion of the third but Chicago would start to pull away late in the period. Deng buried a 25 foot trey with 1:15 on the clock and the Bulls would be on top 72-63 as the quarter concluded. Miami fell behind by double digits early in the fourth and they would never come close to recovering as Chicago won the game handily.
Rose scored 28 points, 6 assists and 1 rebound in the victory for the Bulls. Luol Deng had 21 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals, 2 assists and a block while Carlos Boozer added 14 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal.
Bosh put up 30 points and grabbed 9 rebounds for the Heat. Wade scored 18 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds and 3 steals while James had 15 points, 6 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 steals. Chicago takes a 1-0 series lead with game two at the United Center on Wednesday.