Bulls, Clippers erect 2-1 advantage | Inquirer Sports

Bulls, Clippers erect 2-1 advantage

11:31 PM May 09, 2015

CHICAGO—Chicago’s Derrick Rose sank a three-pointer at the buzzer and scored 30 points to give the Bulls a 99-96 victory over Cleveland on Friday and a 2-1 lead in their NBA Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Across on the west coast, the Los Angeles Clippers also took a 2-1 advantage but in more comfortable style as they beat Houston, 124-99.

Rose came up with his game-winning shot just after Cleveland had tied the game on a three-pointer by J.R. Smith with 10.8 seconds left.

The play called for Rose to get the ball in the corner, but he could not find an opening there. Instead, he took the inbounds pass and dribbled to his right, past the top of the key. Then, as time expired, he banked in a 26-footer off the glass.

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That drew a mobbing from his teammates and a deafening roar from the crowd for a hometown star limited in recent years by knee injuries.

“I’m just thankful and grateful that my teammates gave me the ball,” Rose said. “They believed in me down the stretch. They kept getting me the ball, kept encouraging me to play the way that I usually play.”

LeBron James, who scored 27 for Cleveland despite shooting 8 of 25, said there was nothing Tristan Thompson could do to prevent the shot.

“You follow the game plan, they make a shot, you live with it,” he said.

The Clippers cruised to victory over Houston, with Austin Rivers scoring a career playoff-high 25 points and sparking a decisive run to end the third quarter. AP

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TAGS: Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA Eastern Conference

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