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NBA Playoffs 2011: Heat Beat Bulls, One Win Away From NBA Finals

Much like the Dallas Mavericks, the Miami Heat are now just one win away from headed back to the NBA Finals. The Heat defeated the Bulls in overtime on Tuesday night to take a commanding 3-1 series lead, with the series shifting back to Chicago for Game 5.

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Miami won Game 4 101-93 thanks in large part to LeBron James' 35 points, six rebounds and six assists. Chris Bosh added 22 points while Dwyane Wade added 14 in the Miami victory.

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Game 5 between the Heat and the Bulls will be held on Thursday as the Bulls look to snap a season high three-game losing streak and avoid elimination as well. 

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If Miami wins any of the next three games against Chicago, which seems pretty likely, it would be Miami's first trip to the NBA Finals since 2006 - when they beat the Mavericks in six games. While it's certainly a sour note for Dallas fans, and a scary proposition to have to defeat James, Wade and Bosh in the Finals, it would certainly feel rewarding (perhaps as rewarding as it gets) if the Mavericks defeat the Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals. 

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First things first, though, as both the Mavericks and Heat have to win one more game before advancing to the NBA Finals. Dallas will host Oklahoma City tonight looking to punch their ticket to the NBA Finals.

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Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.