Saturday, September 22, 2012

ESF - Boston (3-0) @ Chicago (0-3) - Game 4

The Chicago Bulls have played hard since the outset of this hellish series against the Boston Celtics, who were simply more consistent and frankly hungrier by comparison, and it blatantly showed tonight.

While both teams were weary, Boston still proved they could knock down shots. Chicago looked more haggard; no longer were they bustling up and down the court. While Rip Hamilton hit a three to start the game, such brilliant play was only a tease of something greater, something that would never come as the stars of Chicago had their lowest numbers of the series, as did Boston, who simply came to win against a "winded" Bulls team.

Despite some heroics by Derrick Rose, and only losing by 4 when the final buzzer sounded, the Bulls simply couldn't overcome a seemingly perpetual 10 point lead and cerebral play by Boston as a whole. The Celtics were collectively patient and defensive mistakes by Chicago provided Kevin Martin (25 points) with too many open three pointers.

With the lead, Boston retired their stars in the 3rd quarter, trusting the bench could finish off the beleaguered Bulls, who had nothing but incomplete drives to the rim and flat shots to offer. A few less mistakes, and maybe the series would be 3-1, but beating the Celtics (or any team) four straight times is a tough task to achieve. Losing Game 3 by blowing a 20+ point lead was the poison that has ended Chicago's hopes for a championship.

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