Luol Deng hit 21 points and shut down LeBron James as the Chicago Bulls beat the Miami Heat 103-82 on Sunday night to go 1-0 up in the best-of-seven NBA Eastern Conference Finals.

The Bulls, who were tied at 48-48 with the Heat at half time, broke the game open with a 10-0 run midway through the third quarter before pulling away in the fourth.

“They (Miami) have got great players on their team,” said league MVP Derrick Rose, who ignited his side en route to a team-high 28 points.

“You have to make sure they don't get open shots, contest all their shots, make sure they don't get to the lane. We did a good job to make sure they saw bodies when they went to the lane.”

Guarded by Deng, who added seven rebounds and four steals, James was limited to just 15 points on just 5-for-15 shooting.

“He just missed shots he normally missed,” said the Great Britain forward. “He’s a great player. He can score in so many different ways. He just had an off-night.”

Chris Bosh hit a game-high 30 for Miami but they were smothered down the stretch after trailing 58-57 before the Bulls seized the momentum in the third.

Highlight of the night came courtesy of Taj Gibson – at the expense of Dwyane Wade:



The two sides face each other again in Chicago in Game Two on Wednesday before heading to Miami for Game Three and Game Four.

Deng says Chicago believe they can reach the Finals.

“We won 62 games,” he insisted. “We know were a good team. There’s a lot picking us out there. We’re not getting carried away.  We’re just staying focused.  To win, you have to think you’re the best. In the locker room, we believe in each other. We just have to go out and play.”

Kevin Durant ensured that the Oklahoma City Thunder will meet the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals, hitting 39 points as the Memphis Grizzlies were despatched.

The 105-90 win for the Thunder gave them a 4-3 series victory. Game 1 against the Mavericks is in Dallas on Tuesday (ESPN).

Image: NBAE / Getty

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