MIAMI - The Miami Heat advanced to the Eastern Conference finals for the third straight year, eliminating the Chicago Bulls 94-91 Wednesday night in Game 5 of the semifinal series.
The Heat trailed the entire second half before surging back on top with 6:33 left in the game. The Heat's Dwyane Wade scored three field goals in the final couple of minutes to cap the comeback at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Nate Robinson and Jimmy Butler missed three-point tries in the final possession of the game in an effort to send the game to overtime.
The Bulls won the opening game of the Eastern Conference semifinal series on the road, then lost four straight. That's the first four-game skid for the Bulls this year.
The Heat will next play the winner of the Indiana Pacers vs. New York Knicks series. The Pacers lead that series, 3-1, with a potential elimination game set for Thursday in New York.
LeBron James led the Heat with 23 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists. Chris Bosh added 12 points and 7 rebounds, and Wade had 18 points and 6 assists.
Carlos Boozer led Chicago with 26 points and 14 rebounds. Robinson, coming off a 0-for-12 performance in Game 4, had 21 points and Jimmy Butler added 19.
The Heat improved to 42-4 at home this season, including the playoffs. And with home-court advantage throughout the postseason, the Heat will be very difficult to dethrone as NBA champions.
NOTES: The Bulls again played without injured starters Derrick Rose, Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich. ... Rose recently cracked Sports Illustrated's top 10 list of the most well-compensated athletes in sports. Rose, who has missed the entire season due to a knee injury, will earn $33.4 million this year, including $17 million on endorsements. His deal with adidas is worth $10 million annually. Boxer Floyd Mayweather ($90 million) and the Heat's LeBron James ($56.5 million) are the top two earners. ... Wade, who has been bothered by a sore knee, averaged just 11.3 points in the first four games of the series. Wade started again Wednesday night. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said there is nothing structurally wrong with Wade's knee, even though the pain is evident. ... Bulls' guard Nate Robinson's 0-for-12 shooting performance in Game 4 is one of the worst in NBA playoff history. The record is Dennis Johnson's 0-for-14 in 1978 for the Seattle SuperSonics. The Heat's Ray Allen, while playing for Boston in 2010, went 0-for-13. ... Heat forward Chris Bosh confirmed that his wife, Adrienne, is pregnant with their second child.