This series has seen some pretty fun basketball at times, for both sides. It's also seen plenty of awful basketball. Today was more the latter than the former.
The Cleveland Cavaliers pulled away in the fourth quarter after scoring just 12 points in the third quarter, but the Chicago Bulls were able to tie the game late after a Derrick Rose two. A questionable non-foul call underneath set up an out-of-bounds opportunity for the Cavs with 1.5 seconds left, and LeBron Kinged them:
DESERVED: https://t.co/vrGA3Wp8L8— OHB (@ohholybutt) May 10, 2015
This was an ugly game for both sides, as the Cavs couldn't hit a jumper for the first three quarters, and the Bulls had stretches of competent basketball interrupted by long droughts where they couldn't get anything to fall. LeBron James had another poor shooting night, going 10-30 for 25 points and shooting 1-7 from three, while Derrick Rose went cold down the stretch, starting 8-12 from the field but finishing 11-23 for 31 points. Kyrie Irving went 2-10 from the field and looked physically dead because of his ankle sprain. Iman Shumpert, Mike Dunleavy, and Nikola Mirotic hit one shot apiece. The teams in total shot 37.1 percent from the field, and were clearly looking affected by the wear this series has placed on both rosters.
James seemed to tweak his ankle in the third quarter, rolling off Rose's foot on a fast break. Once he rejoined the game, he seemed to defer more, which helped Smith get going and the Cavs went on a little run to go up. Hopefully he won't be bothered by the injury in Game 5, in the way Kyrie has been. Hopefully for the Bulls sake Taj Gibson, who looked like he injured his knee in the fourth quarter, isn't hurt too significantly either.
This series has been a grind, and it's been really hard to watch as seemingly every player looks slightly or significantly injured. However, it's produced two game winners, and created a compelling Game 5 because neither team has pulled away from the other in any fashion through four games. The teams will get a day off and go back to Cleveland for a pivotal Game 5.