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NBA PLAYOFFS ROUNDUP: Heat crush Bulls to take 3-1 series lead

Miami's LeBron James, left, and Norris Cole celebrate during Monday's game against the Bulls, which the Heat won to take a 3-1 series lead.

Miami's LeBron James, left, and Norris Cole celebrate during Monday's game against the Bulls, which the Heat won to take a 3-1 series lead.

CHICAGO -- LeBron James scored 27 points and the Miami Heat moved within one victory of advancing to the Eastern Conference finals with an 88-65 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Monday at the United Center.

Miami can close out this second-round series by winning Game 5 at home on Wednesday.

Chris Bosh was the only other Miami player in double figures, with 14 points.

Most of this win can be chalked up to defense. The Bulls shot a miserable 25.7 percent from the field, setting franchise playoff lows for field-goal percentage and points.

The game started just after 6 p.m. local time and the early tip, combined with rough traffic, created some issues for the home fans. Normally one of the league's better atmospheres, the United Center was half-empty and quieter than usual at the start.

The Bulls followed suit, hitting just 1 of their first 12 shots while falling behind 11-2. Chicago was back within 21-15 by the end of the first quarter.

Chris Andersen opened the second with a 3-point play, then Shane Battier and Ray Allen added 3-pointer to send Miami's lead to 30-17.

From that point, the Bulls got as close as seven points a few times, but that was always when they seemed to run out of gas. Chicago scored just nine points in the third quarter and the Heat began to stretch it out, with Norris Cole canning a long 3-pointer at the buzzer to make it 61-42 heading into the fourth.

Point guard Nate Robinson had been a catalyst for the Bulls throughout the playoffs, but couldn't get going on this night. Through three quarters, he was 0-for-12 from the field with four turnovers.

Carlos Boozer led the Bulls with 14 points and 12 rebounds, while Jimmy Butler added 12 points.

In the second quarter, veteran guard Richard Hamilton made his first appearance of the series for Chicago. After missing a long stretch late in the season with a back injury, Hamilton made just two brief appearances in the first-round against Brooklyn.

When Marco Belinelli picked up his third foul at the 10:19 mark of the second quarter, Hamilton checked in to a loud ovation. He knocked down a 3-point basket just over two minutes later. He eventually played 22 minutes and scored 11 points.

Miami guard Dwyane Wade appeared to injure his right knee in the second quarter. He came out of the game and rolled up the sleeve covering the knee, but checked back in a few minutes later and seemed to be OK. He scored six points in 29 minutes of action.

NOTES: James was named to the all-defensive first team for the fifth straight season. He received the second-most votes from NBA coaches, just behind Memphis guard Tony Allen. "We pride ourselves on defense here and I'm one of the catalysts as far as taking that part of the ball very seriously," James said before Game 4. ... Chicago center Joakim Noah also made the all-defensive first team, the first Bulls player to earn that distinction since Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen in 1998. "I think down the road, Joakim has a very good chance to be Defensive Player of the Year," Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau said. ... Once again, the Bulls played without Derrick Rose (knee surgery), Kirk Hinrich (calf bruise) and Luol Deng, who is still struggling with a bad reaction to a spinal tap administered on May 2. Deng said Sunday when he tried to do an individual workout, he threw up after a few minutes. Deng was active for Game 4, but never appeared on the bench. ... According to Elias Sports Bureau, Miami guard Norris Cole is the first player to take as many as eight shots from 3-point range over a three-game span in the playoffs and make them all. Cole's streak ended with his first 3-point attempt on Monday.


Grizzlies 103, Thunder 97 (OT): Mike Conley had 24 points and four steals and host Memphis overcame a 17-point deficit to stun Oklahoma City and take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference series.

Zach Randolph had 23 points and 12 rebounds and Marc Gasol added 23 points, 11 rebounds and six blocked shots for the Grizzlies, who outscored the Thunder 9-3 in the extra session. Memphis can clinch the series with a Game 5 victory in Oklahoma City on Wednesday.

Kevin Durant scored 27 points, Kevin Martin tallied 18 points and Serge Ibaka had 17 points and 14 rebounds for Oklahoma City, which led 46-29 with 4:26 left in the second quarter before seeing Memphis rally to tie the score at 72 with 1:46 left in the third quarter.

Tony Allen and Randolph opened overtime with baskets before Derek Fisher hit a 3-pointer with 1:54 to play for Oklahoma City's lone points of the session. Gasol hit a key basket with 22.8 seconds left to make it 100-97 and Gasol (one) and Tayshaun Prince (two) combined for three free throws as the Grizzlies beat the Thunder for the third straight time.

Randolph and Gasol each hit one of two free throws in the final minute of regulation to give Memphis a 94-92 lead. Durant tied the game with a driving scoop shot with 6.4 seconds left and Randolph had his last-second shot attempt swatted away by Kendrick Perkins.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Memphis has won 19 of its last 20 home games, including five straight in the postseason. ... Reggie Jackson (15 points and eight assists) and Nick Collison (10 points) also scored in double digits for the Thunder. ... Both teams shot well from the free-throw line - Memphis was 25-for-29 and Oklahoma City was 20-for-22.