Bulls

Cavs on Derrick Rose's game-winner: 'Got to live with it'

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Cavs on Derrick Rose's game-winner: 'Got to live with it'

With 3.0 seconds showing on the clock and the Bulls inbounding side-out, the Cavaliers' defensive game plan was simple.

David Blatt had instructed his group to switch every screen, take away the elbow and pressure the Bulls guards into catching the ball going away from the hoop.

Inbounder Mike Dunleavy initially looked for Jimmy Butler cutting toward the near corner, though LeBron James was able to fight through a Taj Gibson screen to take that option away. Dunleavy then turned to his second option, Derrick Rose moving back toward the top of the key with Iman Shumpert trailing closely behind.

Rose received the bounce back from Dunleavy near the top of the key heading toward his right, where Taj Gibson was ready for a ball screen. Tristan Thompson, as he had been instructed to do, switched on to Rose and, using his 7-foot-1 wingspan, extended his right arm out as Rose turned and hoisted a 3-pointer with with 1.2 seconds showing on the clock.

[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]

The Cavaliers had defended the final play to near-perfection. Only a perfect shot from Rose could have beat them.

It did.

Rose's 25-footer soared through the air, banked off the glass and fell through the bottom of the net to give the Bulls a 99-96 victory and, more importantly, a 2-1 series lead.

[MORE: The game-winning shot heard around Chicago]

After the game the Cavaliers were regretful for a number of sequences and statistics in the game, most notably the Bulls' 18 offensive rebounds, James' seven turnovers and allowing 23 fast-break points.

But Rose's game winner wasn't one of them. The Cavaliers simply had to tip their cap to a remarkable shot at the buzzer.

"He made a tough shot over probably one of our most athletic bigs, fully extended arm, off the glass," said J.R. Smith. "You’ve got to take that. Going (to his) right, at that."

Added Thompson: "He took one dribble, I contested it, got up over me and it went off the glass. It’s a tough shot, the only 3 he made all night. Got to live with it."

Said LeBron James: "You tip your hat to him. Hit a tough shot. We followed our coverages and he made it. But the game wasn’t won or lost on that one play. We had so many opportunities as well as they did, but they made one more play than us but we can learn from it."

All of our 2018 NBA Draft content in one convenient place

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USA TODAY

All of our 2018 NBA Draft content in one convenient place

The NBA Draft is upon us. And we've got all of our NBA Draft content in one place for you. How convenient.

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Carlos Boozer says Nate Robinson was one of his favorite teammate because 'he would bring snacks to every flight'

Carlos Boozer says Nate Robinson was one of his favorite teammate because 'he would bring snacks to every flight'

Carlos Boozer and Nate Robinson only played one season together with the Bulls. But oh, what a memorable campaign it was.

And it produced a friendship that still lasts to this day. Cupcakes and snacks will do just that.

Boozer retold a story to NBC Sports Chicago on Tuesday of Robinson and his daughter, Navyi, baking cupcakes for Bulls players on road trips.

"We had so much fun. Me and Nate hit it off right away," Boozer said. "We're both very animated, we're both very loud, we talk a lot, we're great teammates. We love playing passionately, we compete.

"Nate is one of the best teammates I ever had. I played my whole life, I've been playing a long time and he's the only teammate that would bring snacks to every flight. And we'd travel on the road, he would bake us cupcakes for every road game. I never had that before.

"Him and his daughter, Navyi, would bake the cupcakes before every road game. So every road game we'd get to the plane and Nate would hook us up with cupcakes.

"Just a great teammate. He'd go through a brick wall for you, never complained, practice every day, play every day, ready to come and give it his best."

Boozer and Robinson will face off against each other during the Big3 Tournament, which begins this weekend in Houston. The league will travel to Chicago and the United Center on June 29.

"I'm looking forward to being in Chicago," Boozer said. "We've got a lot of great fans out there. I miss the (United Center), miss that Chicagotime summer weather and looking forward to getting back out there in a couple weeks."

Boozer's Ghost Ballers and Robinson's Tri-State team won't square off against one another until Week 5 in Miami. But it's sure to be a fun matchup for the two friends and snack buddies.

"He's one of my brothers, one of my closest friends," Boozer said. "Nate has been training like an animal and he's gonna use this platform to show everybody how much skills he has, also to get back into the NBA. Nate's a great talent and I'm looking forward to seeing him get down."

Boozer's team includes co-captains Mike Bibby and Ricky Davis, which gives them a pretty solid trio heading into the event. But no teammate, NBA or Big3, can match Nate Rob and his cupcakes.

Check out more on the Big3 right here.