(The Sports Xchange) - Derrick Rose banked in a three-pointer as time expired to lift the Chicago Bulls to a 99-96 win over Cleveland Cavaliers in Game Three of their Eastern Conference semi-final playoff series on Friday night.
Rose finished with 30 points and seven assists to pace the Bulls, who seized a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Guard Jimmy Butler contributed 20 points and eight assists.
The score was tied up with three seconds remaining when the Bulls lined up for an inbounds pass. Forward Mike Dunleavy found Rose, who dribbled to his right and drilled a deep 3-pointer off the glass.
LeBron James compiled 27 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds for Cleveland. Guard J.R. Smith returned from a two-game suspension and added 14 points off the bench, and forward Tristan Thompson had 10 points and 13 rebounds.
Bulls forward Taj Gibson had given the Bulls a 96-93 lead by making two free throws with 23.5 seconds remaining but Smith evened the score with 10.8 seconds remaining on his fourth 3-pointer of the game.
Chicago had gone into the fourth quarter with a 74-73 lead. Rose scored six of the Bulls’ first eight points to open the third quarter. Guard Jimmy Butler added back-to-back shots to spark a 7-0 run midway through the quarter.
The Bulls took the opening game of the series in Cleveland before the Cavs rallied with a big win to even the matchup. Game Four is on Sunday in Chicago.
Editing by Jahmal Corner and Nick Mulvenney