LeBron James isn’t just looking to win his first NBA title, he seems pretty determined to win back the MVP trophy he won twice in a row before Derrick Rose won it last season. His 35 points, while Derrick Rose failed to capitalize on two late chances, gave the Miami Heat a 97-93 win over the Chicago Bulls.
Like in last season’s Eastern Conference finals, the Chicago Bulls came up just short, although this time it had more to do with a bit of bad luck and execution in the closing seconds than unreal defense from the Miami Heat. Still, the duel between LeBron, finishing with 35 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists and Rose, finishing with 34 points and six assists while playing 45 minutes gave the game the expected postseason feel.
Luol Deng wasn’t there to give LeBron a hard time as Rip Hamilton started at Small Forward. On the Heat’s side, it was Dwyane Wade who wasn’t far from a no show. He shot 4-16 from the field, finishing with 15 points and 7 assists. Benches? Both teams hardly got anything from them.
LeBron James’ most memorable moment in the game came when he alley ooped off a Dwyane Wade pass, jumping OVER 5’11 John Lucas. But the win came thanks to everything he has besides flash and bling. It was excelling in a rough and very physical game, with a lot of help from Chris Bosh who scored 24 points.
Derrick Rose felt like he let his team down, missing his first fourth quarter free throws of the season and a potential game tying jumper with less than 4 second on the clock – This is so surreal right now knowing that I had a chance to win the game. And this time it didn’t work out. I let my team down.
Rose was everything you want your MVP to be, bringing the Bulls back from an early double digit deficit by himself. Just not in the end, while not gettting anyone to step up beside him. All the starting five finished in double digits, but none of them with more than 11 points. On a night Derrick Rose took it all on himself, he needed a little bit more, just a little help from his friends.
The Heat are now 15-5, one game behind the 17-5 Chicago Bulls, and this was pretty much how it’s going to be between these two teams this season, and probably the playoffs. Like in 2011, with LeBron James playing like this, the Miami Heat still have the edge in the East.