NBA roundup: Heat send Bulls packing

NBA roundup: Heat send Bulls packing
May 15, 2013, 10:45 pm
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MIAMI (AP) -- Knowing his team needed him at his best, Dwyane Wade retreated to the Miami Heat locker room after the third quarter for some quick treatment on his aching right knee.

When he came back, he was good as new.

And now he can rest until the Eastern Conference finals.

LeBron James scored 23 points, Wade added 18 and had a brilliant 45-second sequence that proved crucial, and the Heat clawed back from an 11-point second-half deficit to beat the Chicago Bulls 94-91 on Wednesday night and close out their second-round series in five games. The Heat outscored Chicago 25-14 in the fourth quarter to escape and advance.

"I knew the fourth quarter was going to be tough so I wanted to re-tape my knee," said Wade, who has been battling bone bruises on his knee for several weeks. "I knew I was going to come back into a grind. Our trainers did a great job of getting it taped it enough so I could come out and play."

Did they ever.

Wade had a blocked shot, defensive rebound, offensive rebound and putback slam -- all in a late 45-second span -- to help cap a wild night of wild comebacks. The Heat blew an early 18-point lead, then pulled off a late rally to finish off the depleted Bulls, who still had two chances on their last possession to force overtime.

But Nate Robinson and Jimmy Butler missed 3-pointers, time expired, and Miami moved on to face Indiana or New York next week.

"Dwyane is uncanny," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "When the competition is at its highest, and its fiercest, he finds a way."

Carlos Boozer finished with 26 points and 14 rebounds for the Bulls, who were without Derrick Rose for the 99th straight game, as well as Kirk Hinrich (calf) and Luol Deng (illness). Robinson scored 21 points, Butler had 19, and Richard Hamilton 15 for the Bulls, who dropped the final four games of the series.

"Obviously we're disappointed in losing the series," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "But I was never disappointed in our team. I thought our team fought hard all year long. There was no quit in them."

True -- all the way to the end. To finish this story click here

Grizzlies edge Thunder 88-84, reach 1st West final

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Zach Randolph had 28 points and 14 rebounds, Mike Conley added 13 points and 11 assists and the fifth-seeded Grizzlies advanced to the Western Conference finals for the first time in franchise history by beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 88-84 on Wednesday night.

Kevin Durant missed a 16-foot jumper from the left wing to tie it with 6 seconds left, finishing off a miserable shooting night for the three-time NBA scoring champion. Durant ended up with 21 points on 5-for-21 shooting, the third-worst performance of his playoff career.

The Thunder fell to 1-4 in elimination games over the past four seasons. Two of Durant's worst performances came in those games, with a 5-for-23 outing against the Lakers in Game 6 of the 2010 first-round. His worst shooting performance in the postseason was against the Grizzlies in Game 6 of the 2011 West semifinals.

Durant played all 48 minutes.

Oklahoma City got a breath of life with a bizarre play midway through the third quarter when Derek Fisher's missed 3-pointer turned into a four-point possession. Tony Allen, who was on the bench, waved his arms to try and distract Fisher on his shot and a shirt slipped out of his hands and onto the floor near Fisher's feet.

Referee Marc Davis ruled that Fisher's 3-pointer should count, and Durant hit the free throw resulting from a technical against Allen to get the Thunder within 60-53. Oklahoma City got as close as 64-62 by the end of the quarter, after Fisher's 3-pointer and a layup by Thabo Sefolosha.

But the Thunder missed eight of their first nine shots to start the fourth quarter to fall behind by 12, then couldn't quite recover with their star struggling so badly.