The Heat looked incredibly tired, and the Bulls had one mission in mind: end the streak. However, throughout the game James was receiving hard fouls from both Taj Gibson and, oddly enough, Kirk Hinrich.
In the fourth quarter, Gibson grabbed James by the shoulder and neck while he was slashing to the basket. Hinrich took James to the ground on a similar play in the first quarter. Gibson’s foul was reviewed by officials, but no flagrant calls were made. After the game, James said he didn’t believe Gibson’s move to be a “basketball play.”
The NBA has since changed Gibson’s foul to a flagrant foul.
The Heat will meet Chicago again on April 14.
James complained about the fouls to the media, starting a war between Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and Heat president of basketball operations Pat Riley.
Ainge went on WEEI radio in Boston and explained that James had no right to complain about officiating in the NBA. Riley fired back that Ainge should worry about his own team, not the Heat.
Both team presidents exchanged harsh words through statements, with an argument that later fizzled out. James, on the other hand, now has vindication for his whining. In other news, the Miami Heat are still way better than everyone else in the NBA.
John Engel is a college basketball writer for Rant Sports, and also works for ESPNLA 710 AM in Los Angeles. Follow John on Twitter: @engelsportsguy.