Heat host Bulls for Game 5 of first-round series
=== Heat host Bulls for Game 5 of first-round series ===
(Sports Network) – The Miami Heat try to keep hold of the homecourt
advantage, as they host the Chicago Bulls in the critical Game 5 of their
best-of-seven first-round series tonight at the United Center.
This series is tied at 2-2. Game 6 of this set is scheduled for Thursday at
the United Center.
After the second-seeded Heat won Games 1 and 2 on their homecourt, No. 7
Chicago was able to do the same in Games 3 and 4. On Sunday, Kirk Hinrich
scored 21 points and drained a huge three-pointer with just over a minute
remaining to lead the Bulls past Miami, 93-87, in the fourth game of the set
at the United Center.
Andres Nocioni ended with a game-high 24 points in Game 4s victory for the
Bulls, who won their second straight game and evened the series at two wins
apiece. Ben Gordon tallied 23 points in the win.
Antoine Walker netted 21 in the loss for the Heat, who have dropped four
straight road games in the postseason. Dwyane Wade contributed 20 points and
10 assists in defeat, while Shaquille O’Neal recorded 16 points and eight
rebounds for Miami.
Swingman James Posey, who did not play in Game 4 because of a one-game
suspension, is eligible to return to the court for the Heat tonight. Posey
was suspended for one game for knocking Chicago’s Hinrich to the floor
during the fourth quarter of Game 3.
Miami has never lost a playoff series when it was victorious in the first two
contests of the set.
Chicago came back from being down two games to none to defeat the New York
Knicks in six games in the 1993 conference finals.
The Heat have won three of their last four Game 5s in the playoffs, while
Chicago, which was eliminated in six games by Washington in the first round
of last year’s postseason, has lost two straight Game 5s.
These two clubs have some playoff history. Chicago swept the Heat, 3-0, in
the first round of the 1992 and 1996 playoffs. The Bulls also beat the Heat
in five games, 4-1, during the 1997 Eastern Conference Finals.