CHICAGO – LeBron James scored 27 points and the Miami Heat nearly matched a franchise record for fewest points allowed in a playoff game, pounding the listless and short-handed Chicago Bulls 88-65 on Monday night to take a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The 65 points allowed were just two more than the all-time postseason low for a Miami opponent, and it is the worst production by a Chicago team.
Never before had the Bulls scored fewer than 69 in a playoff game or 10 in a quarter during the postseason, but both those marks fell on a night when they were dominated on both ends of the floor.
Miami put the game away in the third quarter, outscoring Chicago 17-9.
The defending champion Heat will try to wrap up the series at home Wednesday.
LEBRON JAMES and Memphis guard Tony Allen headline the All-Defensive First Team.
The league announced that Allen received 53 points in the voting, while the Miami Heat star had 52. Each player had 25 first-team votes from the NBA’s 30 head coaches.
The pair were joined on the first team by Clippers guard Chris Paul (37 points), Thunder forward Serge Ibaka (46), Knicks center Tyson Chandler (24) and Bulls center Joakim Noah (24).
Marc Gasol, who was the NBA’s defensive player of the year, made the second team. He was joined on that squad by Celtics guard Avery Bradley, Grizzlies guard Mike Conley, Spurs forward Tim Duncan and Pacers forward Paul George.
KNICKS: New York practiced without forward Kenyon Martin or guards J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert.
Martin and Smith are ill and questionable for Tuesday night’s game in Indianapolis. Shumpert has a sore left knee but coach Mike Woodson says he probably will play in Game 4 against the Pacers. Indiana leads this Eastern Conference semifinal 2-1.
GRIZZLIES: Assistant coach Barry Hecker has left the team during the Western Conference semifinals for what coach Lionel Hollins says is a “personal matter.” Hollins said after the Monday morning shootaround that Hecker’s departure is “nothing that’s public consumption.”
Hecker had been on Hollins’ staff in Memphis the past five seasons. Hecker also has worked as a scout, player personnel director and assistant coach for the Clippers and Cavaliers.