After not playing on Saturday and Sunday, the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat continued their series with game 4 on Monday at the United Center. This was the last game for the Bulls at home before the team traveled back to Miami. For that reason, this was a game that the Bulls had to have in order put the series at 2-2 with the teams returning to Miami.
There was no change in who was active for the Bulls on Monday. Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich, and Derrick Rose were all out once again for the Bulls.
The Heat got off to a quick start in the first quarter. After the Bulls scored the first field goal of the game, the Heat scored 11 unanswered points. That was the trend for the first quarter. However, the Bulls managed to close the first quarter on a strong note and narrowed the Heat’s lead to 21-15 at the end of the first quarter. Chris Bosh had 10 first quarter points for the Heat.
Though, the Heat got hot once again to start the second quarter. The Heat went on a 9-2 scoring run to begin the second quarter and extended their lead to 30-17. The Bulls were unable to close out the second quarter as successfully as they did the first quarter. Richard Hamilton provided a semi-spark for the Bulls with 5 points in 10 minutes played in the first half. Nonetheless, the Heat had 44-33 lead over the Bulls at halftime.
Despite the fact that the Heat had a 11-point lead over the Bulls at halftime, this was game that could have been much worse for the team after the first half. Considering the fact that it wasn’t, there was still a chance for the Bulls to rally in the second half of the game. If the team was going to do so, they were going to need to take advantage of their scoring opportunities.
The Bulls failed to do that in the third quarter and that is when the Heat took firm control of the game. The Heat outscored the Bulls 17-9 in the third quarter and had a 61-42 lead over the Bulls in the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter was nothing but garbage time for the two teams as the Heat put their efforts on cruise control and a sealed a 88-65 victory over the Bulls.
With their victory on Monday, the Heat took a 3-1 series lead and likely sent the message to the Bulls that the series was essentially over. The Bulls’ effort on Monday was simply disappointing. There was no energy on the court for the Bulls, and that showed in the final score of the game.
Game 5 is on Wednesday in Miami at 6 p.m.