Miami, FL – The Chicago Bulls are hoping to be more than just streak busters.
Nate Robinson netted the Bulls' final seven points, including the go-ahead jumper with 1:18 left, to lift Chicago to a stunning 93-86 triumph over the Miami Heat in Game 1 of this Eastern Conference semifinal.
The Bulls finished the contest on a 10-0 run.
Robinson tallied 24 of his 27 points in the second half and added nine assists for Chicago, which had snapped the Heat's 27-game winning streak during the regular season and ended a run of 12 consecutive victories this time.
It was the latest spectacular late-game performance for the diminutive guard, who racked up 29 points in the fourth quarter and overtime of Chicago's triple overtime win over the Brooklyn Nets in Game 4 of their first-round series.
The 5-foot-9 Robinson has also had his fair share of bumps and bruises. He dealt with the flu last week, got his head stepped on by Gerald Wallace on Saturday and left Monday's tilt temporarily after suffering an upper lip laceration in the second quarter that required six stitches. While going after a loose ball along the left sideline, LeBron James landed on top of him and Robinson's face smashed into the floor.
Jimmy Butler registered 21 points and 14 rebounds, while Joakim Noah added 13 points and 11 boards in the victory.
"This is just one game. We have to play a lot better in our next one," Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said.
Chicago held a commanding 46-32 advantage on the glass and a 17-8 edge in second-chance points.
The Bulls are hopeful that Luol Deng can join the team in Miami. Deng underwent a spinal tap last week to rule out meningitis and has been sidelined due to complications from the procedure that forced further hospitalization. Chicago was also without Kirk Hinrich due to a calf injury.
James, who was awarded his fourth NBA MVP in the last five seasons prior to the tilt, had 22 of his 24 points in the second half for Miami, which dropped just its third game in its last 44 contests dating back to Feb. 3.
"Our offense was not as fluid and efficient as it normally is and you have to give credit to their defense for that. We need to show more poise, patience and aggressiveness," Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra said.
Dwyane Wade netted 14 points in defeat.
Game 2 is slated for Wednesday in Miami.
After James split a pair from the charity stripe with 2:22 left, Noah secured an offensive rebound off a Marco Belinelli miss, which led to an wide-open look for Belinelli from the right corner and he nailed the triple to knot the contest at 86-86.
Bosh missed a jumper at the other end. Robinson had Mario Chalmers on him on Chicago's next touch and following some fancy dribbling, Robinson pulled up from the top of the key and knocked down the jumper for an 88-86 Bulls lead.
Wade then misfired from beyond the arc and Robinson's driving finger-roll layup with 45.5 ticks to go pushed the margin to four. James airballed a short jumper for Miami and Robinson made 1-of-2 from the line before James was off the mark on a long triple. Robinson then sunk two foul shots to secure the win.
Earlier, Chicago raced out to an 8-2 start before the defending champs responded with an 8-2 spurt to tie the game at 10-10. The Bulls then answered with the next five and took a 21-15 advantage after a quarter of play.
The Heat shot just 26.3 percent (5-of-19) in the opening frame.
The trio of James, Wade and Chris Bosh combined for just 12 points in the opening 24 minutes, their lowest first-half total of the season. James was just 1-of-6 from the field for two points, but it was still a tie game, 37-37, entering the break.
Miami took a 62-58 cushion after three and led 76-69 midway through the final frame after James converted a three-point play, but Chicago netted the next seven points to tie it.
The Bulls had a 40-32 points in the paint advantage ... Chicago outscored Miami 35-24 in the fourth ... The Heat tallied 22 points off 16 Bulls turnovers ... The Heat shot 39.7 percent (31-of-78) from the floor.