Roundup: Heat oust Bulls, reach East finals

James and Heat smother Bulls

Heat star Lebron James (23 points) came out on top against two Bulls defenders.
Joe Skipper/Reuters
Heat star Lebron James (23 points) came out on top against two Bulls defenders.

Knowing his team needed him at his best, Dwyane Wade retreated to the Miami Heat locker room after the third quarter for some quick treatment on his aching right knee.

When he came back, he was good as new.

And now he can rest until the Eastern Conference finals.


LeBron James scored 23 points, Wade added 18, and the Heat clawed back from an 11-point, second-half deficit to beat the Chicago Bulls, 94-91, on Wednesday night in Miami to close out their second-round series in five games.

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‘‘We gave it everything we had,’’ James said. ‘‘I have no energy left.’’

The Heat outscored Chicago, 25-14, in the fourth quarter to escape and advance.

‘‘I knew the fourth quarter was going to be tough so I wanted to retape my knee,’’ said Wade. ‘‘I knew I was going to come back into a grind. Our trainers did a great job of getting it taped enough so I could come out and play.’’

Wade had a blocked shot, defensive rebound, offensive rebound, and putback slam — all in a late 45-second span — to help cap a wild night of comebacks.


‘‘Dwyane is uncanny,’’ Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. ‘‘When the competition is at its highest, and its fiercest, he finds a way.’’

The Heat blew an early 18-point lead, then pulled off a late rally to finish off the depleted Bulls, who still had two chances on their last possession to force overtime.

But Nate Robinson and Jimmy Butler missed 3-pointers, time expired, and Miami moved on to face Indiana or New York next week.

Carlos Boozer finished with 26 points and 14 rebounds for the Bulls, who dropped the final four games of the series.

‘‘Obviously we’re disappointed in losing the series,’’ Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. ‘‘But I was never disappointed in our team. I thought our team fought hard all year long.’’


Grizzlies 88, Thunder 84 — Zach Randolph had 28 points and 14 rebounds, Mike Conley added 13 points and 11 assists, and Memphis advanced to the Western finals for the first time in franchise history by beating host Oklahoma City. The Grizzlies won four straight games after dropping the series opener.

Kevin Durant missed a 16-foot jumper from the left wing that would have tied it with 6 seconds left. Durant ended up with 21 points on 5-for-21 shooting, the third-worst performance of his playoff career.