The Chicago Bulls looked like they were all but finished as the Miami Heat opened Wednesday's Game 5 by hitting their first seven shots, but they didn't go quietly and eventually took the lead at the half, 53-47, at American Airlines arena.
The Bulls went on an incredible 20-5 run and were the aggressors in the second quarter after a dismal start. Carlos Boozer led the way for Chicago with 19 points and six rebounds, while Nate Robinson added 14 points, including a three-pointer to end the half that put the Bulls up by six.
Miami's big three of LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade combined for 31 points, and they'll have to keep producing to stave off the resilient Bulls. Miami started out hot, but ended up shooting just 45 percent from the field and 22 percent from beyond the arc.
It looked like the game was going to get out of hand early, as Miami went on a 22-4 run to start the game. The Bulls responded by toughening up on defense and refocusing on their identity. Miami shot 61 percent from the field and committed just two turnovers in the first frame. The Bulls, on the other hand, turned the ball over five times, resulting in 10 easy points for the Heat.
Our own Jason Patt wrote up a Game 5 preview and asked some important questions:
Will the Heat deliver an early death blow?
It appeared that Miami would and, realistically, they should have with a big start to the game. But Chicago's comeback is the story of the first half.
James had the gall to guarantee there would be no Game 6 in Chicago, and it appears that the Bulls have taken it personally and responded in a big way.
Are the Bulls out of gas?
Despite being down by as many as 18 in the first, the Bulls came roaring back early in the second quarter and immediately showed signs of life as they began to do damage in the paint, exploiting Miami's biggest weakness.
Their jump shots were flat early, but when they made their run at the end of the first quarter and into the second, they found the strength to keep fighting. We have a basketball game on our hands, which didn't seem possible with the odds stacked in Miami's favor.
Can Robinson find the magic again?
Two fouls in the first quarter threatened to take the Bulls' de facto superstar out of the game early, but head coach Tom Thibodeau was forced to play him anyway. It turned out to be a smart move, as the veteran guard put together a performance that displayed all of the fight that's carried him throughout his career.
He's beaten the odds at every step of his basketball career. In Game 5, he has his team poised to do just that, as well.
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