Former Washington Huskies standout Nate Robinson scored 27 points to lead the visiting Chicago Bulls to a 93-86 victory over the defending champion Miami Heat in Game 1 of their East second-round series.
MIAMI — Nate Robinson was spitting blood in the first half, then delivered the deepest cuts of the night in the final moments. And the Chicago Bulls reminded the Miami Heat that no one in the NBA plays it tougher.
Yes, the streakbusters struck again.
Robinson scored 27 points, Jimmy Butler added 21 points and a career-high-tying 14 rebounds, and the Bulls beat Miami 93-86 on Monday night in Game 1 of the teams’ Eastern Conference semifinal series. The team that snapped Miami’s 27-game winning streak in the regular season — the second-longest in league history — found a way to topple the champions again, this time ending a run of 12 Heat victories overall.
“I’ve played on some tough teams,” said Robinson, a former standout for the Washington Huskies and Rainier Beach High School in Seattle. “But this one, there’s something a little different, something special about this group.”
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Robinson needed 10 stitches, five in his lip and five more inside his mouth, to close a cut that came when he dived for a loose ball with Miami’s LeBron James and struck his head on the court late in the first half.
Not only did Robinson play the whole second half, he scored 24 points in those 24 minutes — including Chicago’s last seven points.
The Bulls finished the game on a 10-0 run in the final 1:59. And to think, the Bulls weren’t near full strength. Kirk Hinrich was out again with a calf injury. Luol Deng isn’t expected to rejoin the team until Tuesday, after dealing with an illness apparently so severe a spinal tap — and other tests since — were needed to rule out things such as meningitis. Guard Derrick Rose remains sidelined, as he has been since April 2012.
No problem. The Heat is 41-3 in its last 44 games — with two of those losses to the Bulls, who are 3-2 against Miami this season.
James got his MVP trophy from commissioner David Stern before the game, then struggled to a two-point first half before finishing with 24 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Dwyane Wade added 14 for the Heat, which was outrebounded 46-32.
“I’m not stunned,” James said. “This is what the playoffs is all about. We’re going against a really good team.”
Spurs win in 2 OTs
SAN ANTONIO — Manu Ginobili’s three-pointer from the wing with 1.2 seconds left in double overtime lifted the San Antonio Spurs to a thrilling 129-127 victory over the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of their West semifinal series.
The Spurs trailed by 16 points with four minutes left in regulation before going on an 18-2 run to close the fourth quarter and force overtime.
Golden State’s Stephen Curry scored 44 points on 18-for-35 shooting and had 11 assists. Ex-Washington State standout Klay Thompson scored 19 for the Warriors, who have lost 30 straight in San Antonio dating to 1997.
Before his final shot, Ginobili had missed 15 of his 19 attempts from the field.
“Good timing, though,” he said of his last basket.