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

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IMay 15, 2013

May 15, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade (3) takes a shot over Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah (13) and  shooting guard Richard Hamilton (32) in the second half in game five of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

And then there were seven.

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:

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.