My Turn: James’ Buzzer-beater Ties Bulls-Cavs at 2-2

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls played a thrilling game 4 in their best of 7 series. At times, the play was unsteady. Both teams had poor shooting performances. Credit the good team defense by the Bulls and the Cavs.

The Cavs held the Bulls to 16 points in the critical 4th quarter and LeBron James was able to redeem himself; It was his turn to make the big shot. He told Coach Dave Blatt that he would take the shot and win the game.  So Blatt designed another play in their improvised huddle and James nailed his shot at the buzzer to win a playoff game thriller, 86-84.

Just moments earlier, James was called for a offensive foul on a Bulls’ defender Mike Dunleavy and Derrick Rose’s layup tied the game at 84.  This looked like at OT affair, but the Cavaliers got a break on a call down near their basket.  More time was added to the clock, giving Cleveland 1.5 ticks left and that was time enough for James to make a great shot that swished through at the buzzer.

About 4:00 minutes before the end of the game, radio analyst P.J. Carlisimo said he thought this game would come to a final possession. It didn’t look that way with the Bulls trailing by 5 points with less than a minute to play, but Butler hit a trey, and James TO gave the Bulls the ball. Rose delivered for his game-high 31 points, a great game. But the other superstar James got off  the last and game-winning shot.  “I made mistake after mistake,” James said. “Give me the ball and I’m going to win this game.”

Back to Cleveland, series tied 2-2.

Both teams looked drained in the heat of the drama and competition.  James led the Cavs with 25 points on for 10-30 shooting. Kyrie Irving scored 12 points but looked injured. Taj Gibson got knicked up late, and James took a fall and turned his ankle on a charge near the Cavs hoop.  He came back in the frenzied final minutes.

The team shooting for Chicago was awful, hitting only 36% from the floor. Apparently, the team missed the injured F Pau Gasol, out day-to-day with a strained hamstring. Rose had 31 and Butler 19 for the Bulls with no one else hitting double-figures. Joakim Noah had 8 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in a great game. However, Timofey Mosgov had a great game for the Cavs, playing well in the low post, scoring 15 points and hauling in 9 boards. JR Smith hit his patented bombs from three-point land for 14 points and the Cavs climbed back from an 11 deficit in the third quarter to take the momentum away from the Bulls.  The Bulls couldn’t put Cleveland away, not with a 16 point 4th quarter.

Rose was asked if this was a concern post-game, and he replied,”I’m not concerned at all, we’re still learning. ”

Chicago heads to Cleveland to face the Cavs in a pivotal Game 5.

 

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