NBA Playoffs: Miami Heat @ Chicago Bulls Game 3

Game 3: Heat @ Bulls Fri. May 10, 2013 5 p.m. ET

The defending NBA champion Miami Heat stepped up their game against the shorthanded Chicago Bulls in Game 2 of their second round playoff series coming out with the convincing victory and sucking out any signs of life after a surprising win in Game 1 for the Bulls.

LeBron James had a modest 19 points and nine assists in Game 2, but it was a total team effort in order for the Heat to bounce back and tie the series at one game apiece. The Heat led by as a much as 46 points in Game 2 while crushing the spirit of the Bulls who have surprisingly gotten this far in the postseason without Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich or Luol Deng.

Coming into Game 3 at the United Center, the Bulls will attempt to take the series lead over the defending champs without Deng, Hinrich and Rose once again. Chicago may have taken serious blow with their Game 2 loss on the road, but they still have a chance to take advantage of playing at home for Game 3 and 4.

Although the consensus as of right now is that no team in the league will prevent the Heat from winning a second consecutive title this season, the Bulls were able to pull off the unlikely upset in Game 1. A repeat performance of the first game of the season may be a stretch, but it still remains possible.

As of right now, the Heat are favored heavily to come out on top on Friday with a -9 point spread. This comes as no surprise after the thrashing of the Bulls in Game 2 and may keep some bettors cautious of the Las Vegas odds in this game, but I’d take this bet with Miami seemingly hitting their championship stride.

Prediction: Miami Heat -9

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