2011 NBA Playoffs: Heat, Bulls Near 1st-Round Sweep

The Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls are one step closer to the second round of the 2011 NBA Playoffs after winning against their respective opponents on Thursday.

Dwayne Wade, finally free from migraine and its after-effects, torched the Philadelphia 76ers for 32 points while LeBron James and Chris Bosh tossed in 24 and 19, respectively, to help the Heat overcome another early deficit on the way to a 100-94 victory at Wells Fargo Center. Playing at home for the first time in this year’s playoffs, the 76ers raced to an early 10-point lead but just could not hang on as Miami turned up the heat in the second half.

Meanwhile in Indianapolis, Derrick Rose, who was roughed up the whole game, broke lose from Dahntay Jones for the go-ahead layup with 17.8 seconds left to help the Bulls beat the Indiana Pacers, 88-84, and take a 3-0 series lead. Rose struggled from the field all night, especially in the second half when he could not get a basket until the go-ahead layup. He still finished with a game-high 23 points, though, after going 13-15 from the line.

In the night’s other Playoff match, the Portland Trail Blazers chalked up their first win of the postseason with a 97-92 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, who now lead their first-round series 2-1.