published Thursday, May 26th, 2011

James, Wade lead charge as Heat eliminate Bulls in NBA Eastern Conference finals

CHICAGO — LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh joined to win a championship. Well, now they have their shot.

James scored 28 points, Wade added 21, and they led a furious rally in the final minutes as the Miami Heat eliminated Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls 83-80 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals on Thursday.

James and Wade were simply spectacular down the stretch, each scoring eight during a game-ending 18-3 run as Miami wiped out a 12-point deficit to win the series.

Now, the Heat are headed back to the NBA finals for the first time since 2006, and in a fitting twist, they’ll be facing the Mavericks. Back then, with Wade leading the way, Miami beat Dallas to capture the championship. This time, it’ll be James and Dirk Nowitzki going for their first rings.

For Miami’s Big Three, this was the plan right from the start. The Heat had their difficulties along the way, but look at them now.

They just knocked off the team that won more games than any other, that boasted the league’s MVP in Rose and sent expectations soaring around Chicago in a way not seen since Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen were racking up championships.

Rose led Chicago with 25 points but hit just 9 of 29 shots. He fouled Wade on a key four-point play and missed a tying free throw with 26.7 seconds left.

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