Cavs vs. Bulls, Game 3
at United Center
(Cavs lead best-of-seven series, 2-1)
Game 4 is 3:30 p.m. Sunday
WHAT HAPPENED: Many thought Game 3 was the Bulls' best shot at winning a game in this series. That line of reasoning proved to be true.
Heck, one could make a case for the Bulls being up, 2-1. They played very well in Game 2 in Cleveland.
They definitely have the Cavs on their heels a bit heading into Game 4.
Even though they were .500 during the regular season, they were better than their record indicates. They had injuries and had to find a way to adjust without Ben Gordon at the beginning of the season.
Of course, they found they had a major star on their hands in Derrick Rose, who had 31 points in Game 3.
Cavs guard Mo Williams has not been able to keep Rose in front of him thus far in the series.
If LeBron James is forced to guard Rose, that could cause repercussions in other areas. He could never admit to wearing down, but that's too much burden for any player.
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WHAT ABOUT SHAQ? - Shaquille O'Neal is starting to look like a 38-year-old man. He had six points, four rebounds and two blocks in Game 3.
"I'm not concerned," Cavs forward LeBron James said. "I think he needs to pick up his play. But he knows that.
"No matter who you are, even if you're the best player in the world, if you have an eight-week layoff, it's going to take a toll on you."
And it has.
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NOTES - A Cavs official spoke his mind to NBA vice president of operations Stu Jackson after the game. Apparently, he was upset with a charge on James in the fourth quarter.
"I saw Luol (Deng) backpedaling," James said. "Me as a driver, I'm watching his feet to see if he's stationary or moving. I thought he was still backpedaling."
-- The Cavs have blocked 28 shots in the first three games, compared to 11 for the Bulls.
-- The Bulls have never lost to the Cavs in five previous playoff series. Certainly, they couldn't extend that streak this year, could they?
SF LeBron James (6-8, 250) vs. Luol Deng (6-9, 220)
PF Antawn Jamison (6-9, 235) vs. Taj Gibson (6-9, 225)
C Shaquille O'Neal (7-1, 325) vs. Joakim Noah (6-11, 232)
SG Anthony Parker (6-6, 210) vs. Kirk Hinrich (6-3, 190)
PG Mo Williams (6-1, 190) vs. Derrick Rose (6-3, 190)
Cavs – G Danny Green, G Sebastian Telfair, F Leon Powe.
Bulls - G Devin Brown, F Joe Alexander, F Rob Kurz.
Monty McCutchen, Tony Brothers, Jason Phillips