April 19, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade (3) and Chicago Bulls shooting guard Richard Hamilton (32) exchange words during the second half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Bad Blood: Miami Tops Chicago 83-72


April 19, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade (3) dunks past Chicago Bulls point guard C.J. Watson (7) during the second the half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

ECF Preview?

When you have two powerhouses colliding, it was only a matter of time until the tempers flared. The beasts in the East tried to keep their cool and play, but being elite defenses this game got physical. There was a lot of talking going on, some hard fouls, and a couple technicals. It was a playoff atmosphere and the intensity was the perfect way to end the season series. Miami is heating up, notching their 5th straight win and pulling within a game and a half for the top seed in the East. If both teams handle their business they will clash in the Eastern Conference Finals (ECF). Tonight Chris Bosh (rest) and Derrick Rose (foot) were sidelined.

April 19, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) and Chicago Bulls point guard C.J. Watson (7) collide during the second half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Quick Recap:

1st Quarter: LeBron James was dominant and Mario Chalmers got off to a hot start; Luol Deng and Joakim Noah kept the Bulls in reach.

2nd Quarter: Defensive struggle, John Lucas III hit a few jumpers. Udonis Haslem threw down a jam down the lane, assisted by James.

3rd Quarter: James got the offense back on track, Mike Miller hit a big 3; Taj Gibson gave the Bulls some life.

4th Quarter: Dwyane Wade was cold most of the night but he stepped up when needed and Shane Battier hit a timely 3-pointer. Miami contested shots defensively, locking down the Bulls to 2-16 from 3-point land. Both teams trapped and double-teamed a little bit, a strategy both used last postseason.

Heat Stats

James: 27 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists

Wade: 18 points, 5 assists, 3 steals

Chalmers: 16 points, 2 steals

Bulls Stats

Lucas III: 16 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists

Noah: 15 points, 10 rebounds

Boozer: 10 points, 5 rebounds

Tags: #1 Seed April 2012 Chicago Bulls Eastern Conference Miami Heat National Basketball Association NBA Season Top Seed