Wade, James frustrated in Game 1

  • LeBron James, second from right, and the Heat can only watch as the Bulls roll to a Game 1 victory Sunday at the United Center.

    LeBron James, second from right, and the Heat can only watch as the Bulls roll to a Game 1 victory Sunday at the United Center. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

Updated 5/15/2011 11:46 PM

It took just 41 seconds for LeBron James and Dwyane Wade to announce their presences with authority.

In Game 1's first possession Sunday night at United Center, James blocked Luol Deng's driving layup, grabbed the rebound and fed the ball ahead to Wade for a resounding dunk.


On the Bulls' second possession, James stole the ball from Derrick Rose and flew down the floor for a monstrous one-handed dunk of his own.

But just when the Eastern Conference finals appeared to be a fait accompli, the NBA's most famous duo devolved into two frustrated dudes.

James and Wade combined for 33 points on 12-of-32 shooting as the Bulls pulled away in the second half for a 103-82 triumph in Game 1.

Considering they entered Sunday's game combining for 52 points per game this season, that 19-point shortfall represented almost the entire margin of the Heat's defeat.

And in the money moments? They combined for 1 basket in the fourth quarter.

After James hit a 3-pointer with 10:03 to go to pull the Heat within 8, neither superstar scored again.

In fact, Wade didn't take a single shot during his seven fourth-quarter minutes.

Meanwhile, backup guard Mario Chalmers put up 6 of the Heat's shots in the fourth.

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"I don't even remember shooting the ball," Wade said with a wistful chuckle. "We just didn't do a good job of moving the ball and getting to other opportunities.

"I thought we got it too late in the shot clock and had to throw up some Hail Marys at the end and they didn't go in."

James, who finished 5 of 15 from the field, seemed even-keeled about Sunday's results -- both personally and franchise-wide.

"There were a couple of shots that I normally make, that I've made in the past," said James, who settled all too frequently for jumpers.

Case in point? On one fourth-quarter possession, a defensive switch left Bulls backup center Omer Asik guarding James at the top of the key.

Instead of attacking the taller and slower defender, James jab-stepped and settled for a 20-foot step-back shot that didn't go.

His shooting issues aside, James diagnosed the real culprit in Game 1: The Bulls' 31-8 edge in second-chance points.


Joakim Noah had more offensive rebounds (8) than the Heat (6) for the game.

"You play defense hard and then a shot goes up and they get an offensive rebound and kick it out for a 3 or get a layup or get a dunk," James said. "Those are demoralizing for a defensive team."

James didn't mention his role in one of the game's most important possessions.

Midway through the third quarter with Miami holding on to a 58-57 lead, Deng missed a 3-pointer from the corner.

James didn't box him out, which allowed Deng to grab the offensive rebound and feed Keith Bogans.

Though Bogans missed his 3-pointer, Carlos Boozer grabbed that miss and hit Derrick Rose for an open 3-pointer that gave the Bulls the lead for good.

"We've got to figure a way to clean that up," James said.


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