After being tied at the half, the Chicago Bulls rode offensive rebounding and tough defense to a convincing 103-82 win over the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Bulls had 19 offensive rebounds in the game, and gave up only six to the Heat. That made thing awfully frustrating for Miami and superstar Lebron James, who had only 15 points on 5-for-15 shooting. “You play defense hard and the shot goes up and they get an offensive rebound, kick it out for a three or get a layup or a dunk,” James said. “Those are demoralizing for a defensive team. We’ve got to figure out a way to clean that up.”
This is the first time the Heat have trailed in a series this postseason, so it will be interesting to see how they respond. The good news is that the disappointing Game 1 loss was on the road, so they just need one win to take back home court advantage.
Miami’s Chris Bosh, who led all scorers with 30 points, is confident the Heat can turn it around. “We shot our own selves in the foot, we didn’t move the ball like we usually do,” Bosh said. “This is no different from any other loss that we’ve had. We took a beating tonight, and I think we’ll get better. This has been a group all year that’s responded well when we’re down.”
Derrick Rose, who led the Bulls with 28 points, knows the series is a long way from over. ‘‘After we look at film, this game is going to be out of our minds,’’ said this year’s NBA MVP. ‘I have to do way better. They’re a good team. We have to keep going, keep fighting. But, if anything, our defense has to be there.’’’