The Bulls did a good job against LBJ and Wade last night, holding that pair to a combined 12-of-30 (40 percent) from the floor. However, Chicago could not do anything with the third member of Miami’s “Big 3,” Chris Bosh. Bosh did miss his first three shots but then connected on 13 of his final 15, on the way to a 34-point night. LBJ finished with 22 points, six rebounds and 10 assists while Wade added 17 points, nine rebounds and three assists. Anthony and Bibby (the other two starters) combined for nine points with only Haslem (eight) and Chalmers (six) scoring off the bench. Again, Miami’s “Big 3” accounted for 73 of Miami’s 96 points (76 percent).
The Heat made 50.7 percent of their shots against the team which owned the NBA’s lowest FG percentage against (43.0) this regular season. Haslem has now scored 21 points while grabbing nine rebounds the last two games, which may not be a good sign for the remaining teams in this year’s postseason. Miami is now 7-0 SU at home in the playoffs and handed the Bulls their first back-to-back losses since February 5-7. Boozer (26 & 17) had his best game of the postseason but Rose had a ‘quiet’ 20 points (8-of 19 FGs) while Noah was a non-factor, scoring one point and grabbing only five rebounds in 29 minutes. Chicago shot only 41.6 percent as a team, including 2-of-12 on threes. The Bulls made 10-of-21 threes in Game 1 but have now made only 8-of-32 (25.0 percent) the last two games.
The Miami win evened the record of home teams in the second round to 3-3 SU and ATS. Home teams are now 49-22 (.690) this postseason, going 34-34-3 ATS. Sunday’s game went over, giving us 35 overs and 36 unders through 71 postseason games in 2011. “Zig-Zaggers” lost with the Bulls, ending a five-game winning streak and leaving them 27-27-3 ATS (minus-2.7 net games) this postseason. The play tonight would be on the Thunder, who host the Mavs in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals at 9:00 ET on ESPN. Oklahoma City is favored by four points and the total is 195 1/2.
The Mavs took a 2-1 lead in this series by winning Saturday night, 93-87. After seeing the Thunder score 112 and 106 points in the first two games, the Mavericks intensified their defense in Game 3. Despite shooting a modest 43.9 percent themselves, they allowed the Thunder to shoot only 36.5 percent, including 1-of-17 on threes. Durant scored 24 points but made just 7-of-22 FGs (hit 10 of 11 FTs), including 0-of-8 on three-pointers. Westbrook scored 30 points for Oklahoma City but the team's bench, which outscored Dallas’ 50-29 in Game 2, contributed only 16 points, as only Collison (nine) and Harden (seven) scored. Harden had 23 points in Game 2, Maynor had 13 but went scoreless in Game 3, as did Cook, who had chipped in eight points in Game 2.
Nowitzki made just 7-of-21 shots for the Mavs and finished with 18 points. The only other postseason game in which he has finished with fewer points, came in the team's 122-86 blowout loss in eliminating the Lakers in Game 4 of that series. His four rebounds were a playoff-low this postseason. Marion also had 18 points while Chandler’s eight points and 15 rebounds were huge. Kidd and Terry each had 13, although Kidd made just 4-of-10 FGs and Terry just 3-of-9. It’s now Oklahoma City’s turn to bounce back in Game 4. Can the Thunder pull it off? The Mavs are 12-1 ATS this postseason but let’s also note how well this Oklahoma City team has played after March 1. The Thunder went 19-5 to close the regular season (13-4 in games played with Perkins) and in the postseason, have rebounded from each previous loss by winning their next game. In fact, the Thunder have lost back-to-back games only once (April 1 and 2) since March 1. The again, Chicago hadn’t lost consecutive games since early February, before last night.