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Bulls snuff out defending champ Heat

Bulls snuff out defending champ Heat

The Chicago Bulls swept the defending NBA champion Miami Heat out of the playoffs on Sunday, winning a postseason series for the first time since the Michael Jordan era.
Ben Gordon scored 24 points, Luol Deng had 22 points and 11 rebounds and Chicago beat Miami 92-79 in Game 4 to finish off their first-round Eastern Conference series. The Bulls, who will face Detroit in the second round, became the first team to oust a defending champion in the opening playoff series since Phoenix did it to San Antonio in 2000.
The coach of that Suns team? Scott Skiles, who coaches the Bulls now _ and who put together a plan that simply befuddled Miami all series long.
Dwyane Wade scored 24 points for Miami on 8-for-22 shooting, and added 10 assists. Shaquille O'Neal had 16 points, Alonzo Mourning scored 14 and James Posey had 18 rebounds _ a club-record 17 on the defensive end _ for the Heat.
Miami, which didn't trail until late in the third quarter, got within one point twice in the fourth _ first on a jumper by Wade with 11:15 left, then when Posey made a pair of free throws with 5:27 remaining. Chicago had an answer both times.
Suns 113, Lakers 100
At Los Angeles, Steve Nash had 23 assists _ one shy of the NBA playoff record _ to go with 17 points, Amare Stoudemire had 27 points and a career playoff-high 21 rebounds, and Phoenix took a 3-1 lead over Los Angeles in their first-round series.
Nash left the game to a mixed reception with 1:02 remaining and the outcome long since decided. Magic Johnson and John Stockton share the single-game playoff assist record _ Johnson doing so for the Lakers against Phoenix in 1984, and Stockton accomplishing the feat against the Lakers for Utah four years later.
Shawn Marion had 22 points and 11 rebounds, supersub Leandro Barbosa scored 16 points and James Jones added 11 for the Suns.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 31 points, seven rebounds and nine assists, but scored only three points in the fourth quarter. Lamar Odom added 19 points, 13 rebounds and five assists, and Maurice Evans and Smush Parker scored 11 points each for the Lakers, who committed 20 turnovers to 15 for the Suns.
Nets 102, Raptors 81
At East Rutherford, New Jersey, Vince Carter scored 27 points, Richard Jefferson added 23, and New Jersey took a 3-1 lead over Atlantic Division champion Toronto with the second-biggest playoff win in franchise history.
Jason Kidd added 17 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds for New Jersey, which can advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals with a victory in Game 5 on Tuesday. If the Raptors win that one, Game 6 would be back in New Jersey on Friday.
Andrea Bargnani scored 16 points for the Raptors, who led for all of 15 seconds in the two games at the Meadowlands. Toronto has lost eight straight road playoff games since beating Philadelphia on May 6, 2001, in Game 1 of Eastern Conference semifinals.
The Nets punished the Raptors with their fast break in the first three games, outscoring them 49-25. New Jersey did its damage from the 3-point line on Sunday, making a franchise playoff-record 14.
Warriors 103, Mavericks 99
At Oakland, California, Baron Davis had five of his 33 points and two key assists in the final 3 1/2 minutes, and Golden State roared from behind to take a 3-1 lead over the NBA's best team in their first-round playoff series.
Jason Richardson scored 22 points for the Warriors, who could become just the third team in league history to knock off a No. 1 seed in the opening round.
Only Denver (1994) and New York (1999) have won a playoff series as a No. 8 seed _ and both did it in the old best-of-five format.
The Warriors are an even more unlikely candidate as a 42-40 club that didn't make the playoffs until the final day of the regular season _ but Golden State has a hold on Dallas, winning eight of the clubs' last nine meetings.
Jerry Stackhouse scored 24 points and kept Dallas ahead for most of the second half, but the Mavericks' offense tightened up as soon as Davis, the Warriors' incredible point guard, took charge.
Game 5 is on Tuesday in Dallas.


Updated : 2021-05-15 04:40 GMT+08:00