CHICAGO - Frustrated by a rough start, Derrick Rose stood up at halftime and apologized to his teammates. As makeups go, they'll take it.
Rose scored 28 points, Luol Deng contained LeBron James and the Chicago Bulls struck first in the Eastern Conference finals, pulling away to beat the Miami Heat 103-82 in Game 1 on Sunday night.
The Bulls are off to a good start after sweeping the Heat during the regular season. They went on a 10-0 run midway through the third quarter, then pulled away in the fourth.
As the final minutes ticked away, fans chanted "Over-rated!" and "Beat the Heat!"
Game 2 is Wednesday night in Chicago, and they'd be just fine with another performance like this.
Rose settled down after committing three of his four turnovers in the opening minutes and showed why he is the MVP. He hit three 3-pointers and the Bulls converted 10 of 21 in all.
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"It was on me," Rose said. "Careless turnovers. You can't do that against this team. When they get into the open court, they're too dangerous. ... I'm the point guard. I've got to do way better."
He did just that after the early hiccup, particularly in the second half and hit some big shots down the stretch. Even so, this was no solo act.
Deng had 21 points. He hit four 3s, had four steals, seven rebounds and simply put the clamps on The King, holding James to 15 points on 5-of-15 shooting.
"Definitely to guard a guy like that the whole defense has to stay focused," Deng said. "There were times we switched and times we forced him into the double. Our bigs were great at forcing him into the front."
Carlos Boozer added 14 points and nine rebounds. Joakim Noah had 14 rebounds and the Bulls pounded the Heat on the glass, 45-33, grabbing 19 on the offensive end while outscoring them 31-8 on second-chance points.
"You play defense. You play defense hard and the shot goes up and they get an offensive rebound, kick it out for a three or get a layup or a dunk," James said. "Those are demoralizing for a defensive team. We've got to figure out a way to clean that up."
Chris Bosh led Miami with 30 points and nine rebounds. Dwyane Wade scored 18 points, but the Heat simply were overmatched down the stretch.
The Heat were leading 58-57 midway through the third when the Bulls made their move, reeling off 10 straight and seizing the momentum.
Rose and Bogans started it by nailing 3-pointers. A steal by Bogans against Wade led to two free throws by Rose after he got knocked to the floor going for a fast-break layup.
Then, after a timeout, Noah blocked a layup by Wade and scored seconds later on a layup off an inbounds along the Bulls' baseline, making it 67-58.
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