Chicago Bulls Eliminated from NBA Playoffs After 94-91 Loss to Heat

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Chicago Bulls Eliminated from NBA Playoffs After 94-91 Loss to Heat
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

And then there were seven.

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The Miami Heat, fueled by Norris Cole and Dwyane Wade in a dominant fourth quarter, became the first team to advance to the conference finals on Wednesday night with a back-and-forth 94-91 win over the Chicago Bulls. 

LeBron James struggled from the field (5-of-14), but still led a balanced Miami attack with 23 points, seven rebounds, eight assists and two steals.

Carlos Boozer led the Bulls with 26 points and 14 rebounds.  

Miami jumped out to a commanding 22-4 lead to start the game, and it appeared as though the Bulls were going to lay over for an embarrassing Game 5 loss (in front of the Smiths, no less!). But then the good Nate Robinson showed up.

Actually, the "cheat-code" Nate Robinson showed up:

The dynamic point guard, who came into the game fresh off a 0-of-12 shooting performance, poured in 11 second-quarter points to put the Bulls up, 53-47, at the half. He finished with 21. 

Tom Thibodeau's squad came out of the locker room strong, and behind solid quarters from Jimmy Butler and Rip Hamilton, carried a 77-69 lead into the final period. 

But unfortunately for Chicago, the Heat are pretty good at playing dead:

After Shane Battier scored eight quick points, Norris Cole hit a jumper and then successfully took the roof off with this thunderous dunk that put the Heat up for good:

Wade then played the role of closer, scoring six points in the final six minutes to hold off Chicago. Also, I'd say his knee is feeling pretty good:

GIF courtesy of C.J. Fogler

Unfortunately for the Bulls, an absolutely terrific season and a masterful overall job by Thibodeau dealing with a slew of injuries will likely be marred by the "what if Derrick Rose..." game. 

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