The Thunder closed as four-point favorites in Game 4 and could have easily won and not covered Monday night. However, the Mavs not only came all the way back from 15 points down with under five minutes to go by ending regulation on a 17-2 run but also went on to win outright in OT, 112-105. Last night’s game saw a 19-4 run by the Bulls, followed by a 29-9 spurt for the Heat and then another 18-7 run by the Bulls, all in just the first half. Chicago led 46-44 at the half and while the Bulls led by as many as eight in the third, never pulled away, entering the final quarter with a five-point lead. Both teams had chances to win at the end of regulation but the game went into OT, where the Heat won and COVERED, 101-93! We’ve now gone 34
consecutive postseason games in which the SU winner has also been the ATS winner (last team to win and not cover was Oklahoma City in its Game 5 win over Denver back in the first round).
Rose led Chicago with 23 points, Boozer added 20 & 11, Deng had 20 points plus Noah had 14 rebounds. However, Rose shot poorly again (8-of-27), including 1-of-9 on threes. The Bulls had made just 8-of-32 three-pointers in Games 2 and 3 and again shot just 25.0 percent from beyond the arc, making 6-of-24 for the game. LBJ was great for the Heat, scoring 35 points while going 13-for-13 from the free-throw line (his best playoff showing ever), Bosh made 10 of his 11 free throws (had 22 points and has averaged 24.0 PPG this series) and Miami made its final 24 free throws of the game (finished 32-of-38). Wade shot poorly (5-of-16) and scored 14 points with five rebounds and only one assist but Chalmers had nine points off the bench and Mike Miller, who entered last night’s game with a total of seven points this entire postseason, scored 12 points and added nine rebounds in 26 minutes (now how is that possible?).
The Bulls won Game 1 of this series 103-82 but have now lost three straight, the first time all season they’ve done so. The Bulls were the NBA's best fourth quarter-team during the regular season with a plus-187 point differential in the final period and overtime but have been outscored 80-55 by the Heat over the last three games in the fourth quarter (plus last night’s OT). The Miami win makes home teams 4-4 SU and ATS in the conference finals Home teams are now 50-23 (.685) this postseason, going 35-35-3 ATS. The game went over, giving us 37 overs and 36 unders through 73 postseason games in 2011. “Zig-Zaggers” lost for a third straight time (had been on a 5-0 run, prior to that), leaving them 27-29-3 ATS (minus-4.9 net games) this postseason. The play tonight would be on the Thunder, who visit the Mavs in Dallas for Game 5 of the Western Conference finals at 9:00 ET on ESPN. Dallas is favored by 6 1/2-points and the total is 198 1/2.
Both Miami and Dallas now lead their respective series three games to one and since only eight teams in NBA postseason history have ever come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a best-of-seven series, it sure looks as if it’s going to be Dallas/Miami in the NBA Finals, a rematch of the 2006 Finals (more on that, if and when, it occurs).