Coming off a game that featured 51 personal fouls, nine technical fouls, two flagrant fouls and a pair of ejections, the Miami Heat entered the Madhouse on Madison knowing it would closer to a gladiatorial bout than an actual free-flowing basketball game. And the first half did nothing to change that perception, as three more technicals were assessed and another player was ejected. Miami, though, pushed through and found a way to grind out an important playoff victory. The Heat outscored the Bulls 34-24 in the fourth quarter en route to a 104-94 win.
The game opened as one would have imagined, with a rabid Chicago crowd and the Bulls players fed off that energy. Chicago started the game with a 7-0 run that frenzied their fans, but after a pair of missed shots and two turnovers in their first four possessions, Miami would settle in. The first quarter featured seven ties and five lead changes as the two teams wrested control of the game back and forth. The play got chippy, however, late in the period. Heat forward Chris Andersen blocked a layup attempt by Nate Robinson, and fell on the diminutive guard, drawing a foul. As Andersen rolled off to stand, Joakim Noah raced over and pushed the Birdman, inciting a small scrum under the basket. Noah was assessed a technical foul, his third in the three games of this series. The period ended tied at 25.
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