In what could be the final NBA game at the United Center this season, a flat, exhausted and depleted Bulls team put up an absolutely stinker Monday night, getting demolished by the Heat in Game 4 of Eastern Conference semifinals, 88-65, mostly due to a historically awful offensive performance. The Bulls shot 25.7 percent from the field, including 2-17 from three-point range, and postseason hero Nate Robinson endured his worst playoff outing at the worst possible time, going 0-for-12 from the floor, to set up Wednesday’s road elimination game. After Carlos Boozer (14 points, 12 rebounds) scored the contest’s first two points, Miami went on an 11-0 run to put the Bulls in a deep hole at the outset of the game. Heat All-Star big man Chris Bosh’s Game 3 performance carried over in the early going and the hosts’ turnover woes only added to a losing recipe, though they were eventually able to staunch the bleeding behind the scoring of Boozer and Jimmy Butler (12 points). However, with league MVP LeBron James also making his presence felt in the opening period and the visitors shooting extremely efficiently from the floor, the Bulls were unable to close the gap. Despite the Bulls dominating the boards and Marco Belinelli coming alive offensively as the frame went on, after a quarter of play, they faced a 21-15 deficit, a product of their own 27.3 percent shooting. Belinelli picked up his third foul early in the second quarter, prompting the insertion—much to the delight of the crowd—of long-forgotten veteran Rip Hamilton (11 points), who had seen very limited action in only two of the Bulls’ 11 playoff games thus far into the postseason.
Bulls offense goes silent in Game 4 blowout
CSN Chicago | May 14