Tip-Off for 5/16/13 (featuring Janet Jackson): Miami Heat and Memphis Grizzlies head into NBA Conference Finals with close-out victories over the Bulls and Thunder
(Joe Murphy/Getty Images)
The Memphis Grizzlies are embarking on new territory as participants in the Western Conference Finals.
The Miami Heat are headed back to the Eastern Conference Finals after a come from behind victory over the Chicago Bulls in Game 5. The Heat led the Bulls by as many as 18 points in the first half only to trail by five at the start of the fourth quarter. Miami eventually wore down the weary Bulls — who gave a gallant effort, pulling out at 94-91 victory in five games.
The Memphis Grizzles are headed to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in the history of the franchise with a 88-84 victory over the OKC Thunder. The Grizzlies threw a defensive blanket over Kevin Durant — holding him to 5 for 21 shooting from the floor (Durant missed his first six shots). Three other members of the Thunder scored in double-figures but it wasn’t enough.
Heat 94 – Bulls 91 – The hobbled Chicago Bulls fought valiantly in spite of injuries throughout their roster against the Miami Heat. The Bulls held and eleven-point lead with 1:50 remaining in the third quarter, before the Heat began their clinching rally. LeBron James led Miami with 23 points and a game-high 8 assists. Dwyane Wade looked healthy, scoring 18 points on 7-13 shooting. Carlos Boozer led the Bulls with a game-high 26 points and 14 rebounds. Jimmy Butler added 19 points. Nate Robinson and Rip Hamilton came off the bench to score 21 and 15 points, respectively.
Heat win series 4-1.
Grizzlies 88 – Thunder 84 – The Thunder will remember his series for what could have been if Russell Westbrook had been healthy. Once again, it was Kevin Durant leading the way. The leading scorer in the playoffs was over matched by a stifling Memphis defense. The Thunder contributed to their own demise with 14 turnovers. Zach Randolph closed out the series — putting together another monster game with 28 points and 14 rebounds. Mike Conley added 13 points and 11 assists. Memphis awaits the winner of the San Antonio/Golden State series.
Grizzlies win series 4-1.
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