2007 Playoffs

In 2007 the HEAT made its fourth consecutive playoff appearance and its 12th all-time. Miami, the defending NBA champions, entered the postseason as the fourth-seeded team in the East after capturing its third consecutive Southeast Division championship. The HEAT's opponent was the fifth-seeded Chicago Bulls, who they eliminated 4-2 in the Opening Round of the 2006 NBA Playoffs en route to a championship. The 2007 match-up was the fifth playoff series between the HEAT and Bulls. In each of the first four the team that won the series went on to win the NBA championship. The five playoff meetings with the Bulls are the most for the HEAT against any opponent, topping the four New York-Miami match-ups. The Bulls swept the 2007 series, marking the first time in franchise history that the HEAT was swept in a best-of-seven series.

Game 1-Apr. 21 (Chicago 96, Miami 91): Luol Deng scored a game-high 33 points and grabbed eight rebounds, including a crucial offensive rebound in the game's final minute, as the Bulls recorded a 96-91 victory over the HEAT before a sellout crowd of 22,183 at the United Center. Ben Gordon recorded a double-double with 24 points and a game-high 11 assists for the Bulls while also pulling down seven rebounds. Andres Nocioni was the only other Bull to score in double figures, finishing with 17 points off the bench. Ben Wallace, making his Chicago postseason debut pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds. Chicago, which enjoyed a 25-4 edge in fast break points and a 46-33 edge on the boards, took the lead for good on a three-point field goal by Nocioni with 2:52 left in the opening half. The Bulls lead ballooned to 13 with 38 seconds left in the third quarter before the HEAT made a pair of fourth quarter runs. Miami got within two with 5:17 remaining and then after Chicago pushed the lead back to nine points with 1:51 left, the HEAT cut the deficit to one on a Udonis Haslem lay-up with 38.3 seconds remaining. After Miami got a defensive stop when Nocioni missed a lay-up with 23.9 seconds left, Deng came up with the play of the game grabbing the offensive rebound and feeding Gordon who was fouled. Gordon and Nocioni each hit a pair of free throws in the final 19 seconds to seal the victory. Miami was led by Dwyane Wade who finished with 21 points. The HEAT also received 20 points off the bench from Antoine Walker and 19 points and six rebounds from Shaquille O'Neal. Walker's 20-point effort marked only the third time in history that Miami had a player score at least 20 points off the bench in a postseason game.

  • Round 1, Game 1
  • Game 2-Apr. 24 (Chicago 107, Miami 89): Luol Deng and Ben Gordon combined for 53 points and 11 assists as the Bulls rolled to a 107-89 victory over the HEAT before a sellout crowd of 23,097 at the United Center. In addition to his game-high 27 points, Gordon grabbed a team-high seven rebounds, handed out five assists and nailed five three-point field goals. Deng scored 20 of his 26 points in the second half as Chicago extended a three-point halftime lead into an 18-point victory. Kirk Hinrich added 14 points and a game-high eight assists for the Bulls who also received 10 points each from P.J. Brown and Andres Nocioni. The Bulls, who led by as many as 21 points, shot 55.1 percent (43-78) from the floor, the highest single-game total by a HEAT postseason opponent and 64.7 percent (11-17) from three-point range. For the second straight game the Bulls led by three at the half, but opened the second half with a 21-7 run and Miami could get no closer than seven points the remainder of the contest. Dwyane Wade led the HEAT with 21 points and seven assists and Shaquille O'Neal added 17 points and eight rebounds. Jason Kapono, James Posey and Antoine Walker each added 11 points off the HEAT bench. Posey also grabbed eight rebounds and amassed five steals to tie the HEAT postseason single-game record.

  • Round 1, Game 2
  • Game 3-Apr. 27 (Chicago 104, Miami 96): Despite receiving 28 points, nine rebounds and five assists from Dwyane Wade and 23 points and a game-high 13 rebounds from Shaquille O'Neal, the HEAT dropped a 104-96 decision to the Bulls in front of a sellout crowd of 20,280 at the AmericanAirlines Arena. The loss snapped Miami's franchise-record of nine consecutive Opening Round home victories. The HEAT, which led by as many as 12 points late in the third quarter, also received 12 points from Antoine Walker and 10 from James Posey. Down 79-72 with 11:33 left in the contest, Chicago went on a 21-5 run to grab command of the game. Ben Gordon, who scored a team-high 27 points, scored 10 of his 12 fourth quarter points during the decisive run. Chicago also received 24 points and a team-high 11 rebounds from Luol Deng and 22 points and six assists from Kirk Hinrich. Chicago maintained a 44-33 edge on the boards and converted 78.4 percent (29-37) of its free throw attempts compared to Miami's 45.7 percent (16-35) accuracy from the charity stripe. Although the HEAT committed a series-low nine turnovers and forced the Bulls into 21 turnovers, Chicago recorded an 18-16 edge in points off turnovers.

  • Round 1, Game 3
  • Game 4-Apr. 29 (Chicago 92, Miami 79): Ben Gordon scored 24 points while Luol Deng (22 points and a team-high 12 rebounds) and Ben Wallace (13 points and 11 rebounds) each recorded a double-double as the Bulls completed their Opening Round sweep of the defending NBA champs with a 92-79 victory over the HEAT before a sellout crowd of 20,283 at the AmericanAirlines Arena. For the second straight game the HEAT led at the half only to be outscored by double digits in the second half. Miami led 48-44 at the half, but was outscored 48-31 over the final 24 minutes. The Bulls took the lead for good on a jumper by Deng with 2:44 left in the third quarter and led the contest by a single-point, 78-77, with five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Chicago then closed out the series with a 14-2 run over the final 4:57. Dwyane Wade recorded a double-double for the HEAT with team highs in both points (24) and assists (game-high 10). Miami also received 16 points from Shaquille O'Neal and 14 points from Alonzo Mourning who hit all six of his field goal attempts to set a franchise postseason record for most field goals made without a miss. James Posey grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds, including a HEAT postseason record with 17 defensive rebounds. Miami lost despite maintaining a 49-42 edge on the boards and outscoring the Bulls 46-18 in points in the paint. Chicago committed just five turnovers compared to 17 by the HEAT and recorded a 19-7 edge in points off turnovers. For the second consecutive game, free throw shooting also proved to hurt the HEAT. Miami converted 48.1 percent (13-27) of its opportunities from the charity stripe while Chicago hit 79.2 percent (19-24) of its opportunities.

  • Round 1, Game 4
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