Found May 11, 2013 on Fox Sports:
This was Chicago's chance. This was Chicago's time to shine. With home-court advantage in their pockets after splitting with the Heat during two bruising games in Miami, the undermanned, underdog Bulls had given themselves an opportunity -- one that few likely expected -- to actually put the defending champs' backs against the walls. And, hell, if Chicago didn't look like it might do it for a while there. But then, in the third quarter, things began to fall apart. Miami took a close game that should have been a runaway loss and ran away with it themselves, in the fourth, eventually winning 104-94. And with it, they erased any slim chance Chicago had of stunning the world. A win on Friday at the United Center would have put the Bulls up 2-1 heading into Monday's Game 4, back in the house that Jordan built. That's hardly an insurmountable lead, to be sure, especially against a team that has LeBron James on the floor for 44 minutes a night. But it would have been enough to force Miami to play with a sense of urgency that is rarely required against their Eastern Conference underlings. Additionally, a little momentum goes a long way in the NBA playoffs, and a 2-1 edge would have had the Bulls believing -- even if the rest of us weren't quite convinced -- that they could pull this off. Had the home crowd then willed 2-1 to 3-1, mighty Miami may have found itself suddenly questioning its own ability to beat a pesky gnat of a team that it should have smashed more easily. Having to win three of four is tough, even for Miami. Having to win three of three is tougher. That's why only eight teams in the history of the game have come back from down 3-1 to win. (Though Heat fans will be quick to remind you that they were responsible for one of those times.) A Game 3 win for Chicago would have made Game 4 a must-win for the Heat. Therefore, Game 3 was a must-win for the Bulls. Don't believe what any talk coming out of the Bulls locker room after tonight's loss about this still being anyone's series. They're done. D-O-N-E. This was their chance -- their only chance -- and they blew it, even with the Heat doing everything they could to give the game and series away. Tom Thibodeau's Bulls tossed a tailor-made opportunity in the trash, and this is how it happened: An early seven-point lead sparked by a rare offensive outburst from Carlos Boozer took just two minutes to completely evaporate, but no one was expecting a Game 2-like blowout with the Bulls on top. If Chicago was going to do this, it was going to come via sleight of hand, not a smash-and-grab. Both teams shot exceptionally well in the first quarter the Bulls hung around -- something they vitally needed after Game 2's rout -- and the score was tied after one. ''We knew that being at home the Bulls were going to be a little more aggressive,'' Heat center Chris Bosh said afterward. ''Probably a little bit more passionate and a little bit more intense. Those were storms we were going to have to weather.'' Bosh talked more about having to win ugly . . . <A href="http://msn.foxsports.com/video?videoid=a7dfff71-9aa9-4475-86ac-60a46fde272b&src=v5:embed:syndication:&from=shareembed-syndication" _cke_saved_href="http://msn.foxsports.com/video?videoid=a7dfff71-9aa9-4475-86ac-60a46fde272b&src=v5:embed:syndication:&from=shareembed-syndication" target="_new" title="Bosh: Can't win a title being pretty">Video: Bosh: Can't win a title being pretty</A> Chicago built another seven-point lead in the second quarter on the heels of an emotional Nazr Mohammed ejection -- which Thibodeau , perhaps accurately, called a LeBron flop -- sparking plenty of reaction on Twitter. Nazr Mohammed just did to LeBron what every single non-Heat fan in America has wanted to do at some point. #Bulls #Heat -- Matt Lindner (@mattlindner) May 11, 2013 Honestly, the Heat better be careful, because if there is one team that will put LeBron in the hospital, it's the Chicago Bulls. -- CelticFanChat.com (@CelticFanChat) May 11, 2013 BULLS VS HEAT LOOK LIKE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN -- PEGEE (@VH1PNUT) May 11, 2013 The Thibodeau postgame take . . . Video: Thibodeau: LeBron flopped But again, the advantage wouldn't hold, and nine points from Shane Battier during a 22-13 run to close the quarter gave Miami a 52-50 edge at the break. Despite the Heat's lead, it felt like they were trying to lose, and at the half, LeBron and Dwyane Wade had made only three field goals between them (and Wade had taken just one shot, period). The third quarter saw the Heat try, once again, to unravel -- doing their best to give the Bulls one last shot. Chicago couldn't miss from the floor, and by the end of the period, the Heat players were even barking at each other , much to the delight of first-rate troll Joakim Noah. Joakim vigorously claps as Chalmers gets berated. My favorite thing ever of the day.gif: bit.ly/13M1QFT -- Jessica Galliart (@JessicaGalliart) May 11, 2013 With 2:41 left in the third, Chicago led 68-64. To that point, they had shot 51 percent from the floor and hit 50 percent of their 3s. They were outrebounding the Heat, and still, for the most part, limiting LeBron and D-Wade. Everything was coming up Millhouse for Chicago, and they still couldn't pull away. And that's how you knew it wouldn't last. And sure enough, it all went to hell over the final 14:41. Down the stretch, the Bulls shot 9 of 26. They hit just one of their 10 3-point attempts and got pounded on the glass, 17-12. LeBron discovered his 3-point stroke -- so much for not having a clutch gene -- and Nate Robinson never found his. After 33 minutes not capitalizing when everything was going right, everything went wrong for Chicago, and now the series is as good as over. The Bulls now have no room for error, and that's not a good place to be against the Heat. LeBron can smell blood in the water, and if Chicago goes back to Miami down 3-1, they might as well not even make the trip. The first three quarters of Game 3 represented the best effort the Bulls' ragtag group could possibly muster, and it still wasn't enough, even with Miami doing their best to be complicit in the upset. There's no way the Bulls win a Game 7 on Miami's home court, so they've got to sweep from here. Good luck with that. But let it never be said that they didn't have their chances.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Contrary to Reports Derrick Rose Will Not Return In Game 3 of Heat vs. Bulls

This has to be difficult on Bulls fans. Before and after Game 2 of the Heat vs. Bulls series a bunch of unconfirmed reports surfaced that Rose would be making his triumphant return to the Bulls in Game 3 of the series. There reports were very vague, they went from, he would definitely play to he would wear his uniform, but just sit on the bench (which made absolutely no sense...

Mohammed ejected for shoving LeBron: ‘Instincts took over’

Chicago Bulls center Nazr Mohammed says he wishes he would have fought his “instincts” and not shoved Miami Heat forward LeBron James’ to the ground in revenge for being knocked to the floor while James dribbled up the court. “It’s one of those things that happened so fast, you don’t know what’s going to happen, but instincts kick in

Bosh gets better of big man duel with Boozer

Welcome to the Eastern Conference semifinals, Chris Bosh and Carlos Boozer. All but absent the first two games, the big men for Miami and Chicago asserted themselves in a big way in Game 3 on Friday night. Bosh scored 20 points and hauled in 19 rebounds to help the Heat beat the Bulls 104-94 victory. Boozer wasn't bad, either, with 21 points for Chicago, but it was Miami coming...

Nazr Mohammed ejected for shoving LeBron James (Video)

There was physical play that resulted in an ejection once again in the Miami Heat-Chicago Bulls playoff series, and once again LeBron James was involved. This time it was Nazr Mohammed taking his swipe at James. As James was bringing the ball up the court early in the second quarter of Game 3 on Friday in Chicago, Mohammed went to wrap up the Heat forward. James reacted by throwing...

NBA ref Joey Crawford gets hit by ESPN camera during Bulls/Heat game 3

If I had to ever put a bet on the NBA referee that would get hit in the head by a television camera, my money would be on Dick Bavetta or Joey Crawford. During tonight’s game three between the Chicago Bulls/Miami Heat, a stoppage of play caused an ESPN camera following Joakim Noah to run into Crawford’s head:   *** ESPN camera runs into Joey Crawford [Beyond the Buzzer]  

Nate Robinson Blocks LeBron James (Video)

Usually we see LeBron James doing the blocking, but late in the third quarter of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals featuring the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat, we saw Nate Robinson BLOCKING, yes, BLOCKING LeBron James’ shot.  Nate Robinson’s hashtag on twitter, #HeartOverHeight, definitely applies here.  H/T SBNation The post Nate Robinson Blocks LeBron James...

Video: Nate Robinson Gets a “We Are All Watching” Commercial

Nate Robinson has been one of the big stories of the NBA Playoffs this year. When you play that well and with that much heart, you tend to get recognized. Nate got himself a “We Are All Watching” video. This isn’t the Point Guard that Bulls fans wished had his own video, but congrats to The post Video: Nate Robinson Gets a “We Are All Watching” Commercial appeared first on No Coast Bias.

Nate Robinson Blocks LeBron

Nate Robinson gives hope to guys under 6 feet tall everywhere. In last night’s game 3 between the Bulls and Heat, Robinson block the shot of the best player in the league LeBron James. What makes it even more impressive is James rarely gets his shot block and is one of the strongest players around the rim NBA. Robinson is having a heck of NBA playoffs but sadly for him the Bulls...

Heat - Bulls Game 3: King Cobra Kills Battered Mongoose

Not All That Fun To Watch One of my least favorite sports cliches is how such and such teams do not like each other, as if liking each other was some kind of default condition in sports, or the preferred state. At best, it's tired; at worst, it's damn near dead. And yet, well, these teams. There's more than dislike here; there is disdain, contempt, distaste. Miami thinks...

Nate Robinson gets his own “We Are All Watching” commercial

Prior to the start of the 2013 NBA playoffs, Chicago Bulls guard Nate Robinson was most known for his aerial exploits in the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest but now, Nate will be known for his amazing performance against the Brooklyn Nets. The fine folks over at the NBA decided to commemorate Nate’s performance in game four with a “We Are All Watching” commercial: *** Nate...

SNY Anchor Kirk Gimenez Pulls a Ray Allen, Tweets a DM, Panics & Deletes His Account

You have to be careful when sending those thirsty DMs. You should never send DMs via your phone.  I don’t care what type of phone you have, they are too fickle and one wrong move and this can be tweeted to the world. Pretty smooth there Kirk. I have seen worse, but after he deleted his Tweet according to Deadspin he deleted his whole Twitter account. Listen Kirk, I understand...

Joakim Noah Cheers On Argument Between Chris Bosh & Mario Chalmers

Teammates Chris Bosh and Mario Chalmers were getting into it during the third quarter of Friday night’s Game 3 in Chicago when Joakim Noah, being Joakim Noah, came over and started enthusiastically cheering on the argument.

Bulls Nazr Mohammed Ejected After Shoving LeBron James

This is awesome. During the second quarter of the Bulls/Heat game Friday night back-up center Nazr Mohammed did something that will insure that he doesn't have to pay for any drinks when he goes out after the game. He put King James in his place--literally. For his part, LeBron's pride has to sting a little, but the pro will likely let Nazr have his moment since...

Video: LeBron James, Nazr Mohammed Mix It Up; Nazr Ejected

Playoff basketball

Now or Never Mr. Rose

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Jim Young By now all of you reading this know the whole story behind Derrick Rose’s injury. You know about the torn ACL. You know about the long road he endured. And you know about how he has delayed his return to the NBA, but no one really knows why. Some suspect there has been a snag in the recovery that he has kept secret, and others just chalk it up to...
NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.