Sunday , Apr , 29 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Bulls can sweep Heat out of the playoffs

(Sports Network) – The Chicago Bulls attempt to sweep the defending world
champion Miami Heat, as the teams meet for Game 4 of their first-round matchup
today at AmericanAirlines Arena.

After winning Games 1 and 2 at the United Center, the fifth-seeded Bulls took
a commanding lead in the series on Friday. Ben Gordon scored 27 points and
Luol Deng added 24 points and 11 rebounds as Chicago knocked off No. 4 Miami,
104-96, at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Gordon scored 10 of his points during a game-clinching 21-5 run in the fourth
quarter for the Bulls. Kirk Hinrich added 22 points and six assists for
Chicago, which won a road playoff game for the first time since Michael Jordan
led the franchise to its sixth title in eight years in 1998.

Dwyane Wade scored 28 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the loss, while
Shaquille O’Neal recorded 23 points and 13 boards for the Heat, who held a
double-digit lead before faltering in the final quarter.

Miami had its streak of eight straight postseason victories at home halted.

If necessary, Game 5 is scheduled for Tuesday at the United Center. No NBA
team has ever comeback from a 3-0 deficit to win a best-of-seven playoff
series.

The Heat have won three straight Game 4s in the postseason. Miami has lost two
straight games when facing elimination in the playoffs.

The last time the Heat were swept out of the playoffs was in the first round
of the 2001 playoffs by the Charlotte Hornets, 3-0. The 1957 Warriors were the
last defending champion to be swept in a first-round playoff series.

Chicago has won two straight Game 4s in the playoffs. The Bulls have won two
of their last three contests when they have had the chance to eliminate their
opponent from the postseason.

The last time the Bulls swept a playoff series was against the New Jersey
Nets, 3-0, in the first round of the 1998 playoffs.

The Bulls are in the playoffs for the third straight year and 28th time in
team history. The six-time NBA champion Bulls have lost in the first round the
last two years. They fell in six games to the Washington Wizards in 2005 and
were eliminated by Miami last year.

Chicago is trying to advance past the opening round for the first time since
1998, when it last won the NBA title. The Bulls last playoff series victory
was over the Utah Jazz in six games during the 1998 NBA Finals.

The Heat are in the postseason for a fourth straight year. Despite being a
lower seed, the fifth-seeded Bulls have home-court advantage because of a
better record during the regular season.

Chicago and the Heat are meeting for the second straight year in the first
round of the playoffs, as Miami eliminated the Bulls in six games last spring.
Chicago and Miami are battling in the playoffs for the fifth time.

CHI MIA