Nate Robinson is one of the most beloved role players in Chicago Bulls history. One reason why fans loved him was because of his heart, which was shown when Robinson sank the Miami Heat with 27 points in Game 1 of the 2013 Playoffs. This was when Bulls fans were still hurting over the Derrick Rose injury saga. In this article, we’ll remember when Nate Robinson sank the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the 2013 playoffs.
On April 28, 2012, the Chicago Bulls suffered a massive blow that would change their franchise forever. It was Game 1 of their first-round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers, and Derrick Rose tore his ACL with 1:22 remaining in the game.
Rose would miss the entire 2012-13 NBA season, but the Bulls would finish as the fifth seed with a 45-37 record. In the playoffs, the Bulls would manage to overcome adversity and defeat the Brooklyn Nets 4-3 in the first-round series. Robinson played a key role in this series, including a heroic 34-point outing in Game 4 that went all the way down to the wire in triple overtime.
The Conference Semi-Finals saw the Bulls meet up against the LeBron James and Dwyane Wade-led Miami Heat. The two teams faced off in the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals, where the Bulls blew the Heat out in Game 1 with a 103-82 victory. The Bulls would go on to lose the next four games and the series. 2011 was arguably the best chance Chicago had to get back to the NBA Finals since the 1998 “Last Dance” season.
Nate Robinson made the Bulls must-watch television even without their star guard Derrick Rose on the court.
In the 2011 series, the Bulls held the home-court advantage. This time around, Miami held the home court, and they were coming off a championship season. No one believed Chicago had a chance, and for one game, Nate Robinson would prove the critics wrong.
The Miami Heat were looking to repeat in the 2013 playoffs, and they wanted to make quick work of the Chicago Bulls to move on to the next round. By halftime, the Heat and Bulls were tied at 37. At halftime, Robinson only had 3 points on 1-5 shooting and 0-3 from three. Also, right before halftime, Robinson slammed his face on the floor as he dove for a loose ball. This resulted in Robinson cutting his lip, which ended with him needing to receive medical treatment and 10 stitches.
In the second half, things would be different for Robinson. He’d return from his injury and play every minute of the second half.
With 6:30 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Heat took a 76-69 lead. As it looked like the Heat were going to run away with the game, Robinson decided it was time to take over. He scored 11 points in the fourth quarter on 2-3 shooting and 7-8 from the free throw line. On top of scoring 11 points, Robinson added 6 assists in the quarter.
Robinson seemingly could do it all, and he finished the Heat off by scoring the Bulls’ final 7 points. Chicago defeated Miami 93-86, and Robinson would go down as one of the most loved players in franchise history. For the game, Robinson scored 27 points on 8-16 shooting while adding 9 assists. Unfortunately, the Bulls would see history repeat itself here, as after they managed to win Game 1, Chicago would drop the next four games to lose the series.
Robinson was a spark for Chicago at the point guard position, something they needed while Rose was out with his injured knee. Even though Robinson only spent one season with the Bulls, fans still remember his performance against the Miami Heat.