NBA Playoffs Roundup–15th May: Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder win
Chicago Bulls 103 – Miami Heat 82
On Sunday night, Chicago Bulls thrashed the Miami Heat 103-82 in the first game of the Eastern Conference finals at the United Center. With this win, the Bulls lead the best-of-seven-series 1-0.
League MVP Derrick Rose once again led the Bulls with a team-high 28 points and six assists. Luol Deng followed with 21 points, seven rebounds, and four steals, while Carlos Boozer ended with 14 points and nine rebounds for the Eastern Conference Champions.
Although only three players of Chicago scored in double figures but their defence against the leading scorer of Miami, LeBron James and their sharp-shooter Dwyane Wade was what won Chicago the game.
King James was haunted by Deng throughout the night and was limited to only 15 points on a meagre 5-of-15 shooting. James also had six assists and six rebounds while guard Dwyane Wade had 18 points in the defeat. With James and Wade misfiring, the third cog of the Miami Big Three picked up the slack. The 27-year-old power forward led the Heat with a game-high 30 points and nine rebounds.
Miami played well in the first quarter and held a 23-20 lead after 12 minutes behind a nine-point effort by Bosh. Trailing by three points after one, the Bulls got their shooting touch back in the second quarter and tied the contest at 48, heading into the locker room.
The Bulls finally broke the game in the third and outplayed the Heat 24-15 to carry a 72-63 lead into the final 12 minutes. The home team never looked back after that and reeled off an 11-2 run down the stretch to seal the victory.
Oklahoma City Thunder 105 – Memphis Grizzles 90
All-Stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 53 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder finally disposed off the Memphis Grizzlies 105-90 in the game-7 of the Western Conference Semifinals at the Oklahoma City Arena. With the victory, Oklahoma City booked a date with the Dallas Mavericks in the best-of-seven Western Conference Finals series, starting from Thursday.
After a forgettable 11 point outing in game-6, Durant erupted with 39 points and nine rebounds while Westbrook chipped in with 14 points, 14 assists, and 10 rebounds to score his first ever playoff triple-double.
Mike Conley was the leading player for the Grizzlies in the defeat with 18 points, six assists, and five rebounds. Forward Zach Randolph contributed 17 points and 10 rebounds while O.J. Mayo posted 14 points and five rebounds for Memphis.
Although the Grizzlies had a good start, Thunder settled quickly and took a 21-17 lead after one. With Durant leading the way, they continued to press on taking a 42-34 lead at halftime.
Oklahoma City were unstoppable in the third as they widened their lead to 72-58, heading into the final stanza. Leading by 14 points at the start, Thunder maintained their double-digit lead throughout the fourth quarter to walk away with the victory and the series.