Rose Struggles, LeBron Chokes, Bench Mobs & Bulls Clinch
Derrick Rose took the court for just the second time in a month, and there was some obvious rust on his game. Yet, in spite of his lowly two-point effort in the overtime game with Miami, the Bulls managed to beat the Heat and clinch the number one seed in the East.
This victory was a team effort for Chicago, as always. Everyone played their part and pulled their weight, but if you had to pick a hero for the game it would C.J. Watson. His timely shots and balanced production headlined a Bulls bench that outscored that of Miami’s, 47 to 7 in an all out “mobbing“.
The other key player in this Chicago victory was MVP candidate, LeBron James. As usual, he posted a monster line for 47 minutes before transforming, yet again, into LeBrick. Standing at the foul line with just over 10 seconds left in the game, James had an opportunity to push the Heat’s lead to four and likely seal up a crucial road victory. But, instead, he shanked the freebie and allowed the Bulls one last chance to extend the contest, which they did thanks to a clutch, off-balanced three-pointer from Watson.
From there on, Chicago ran away with this one and never looked back, outscoring the Heat 12-2 in Overtime. The victory was as important for the Bulls as it was thrilling. By clinching the number seed, they ensured home-court advantage for the entire playoffs and thus increased their odds of taking the next step.
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