SPORTS

Nate Robinson Needs Stitches, Takes Over Late In Bulls-Heat Game 1 (VIDEO)

05/07/2013 05:08 pm ET | Updated May 07, 2013

Even with a depleted Bulls lineup that did not include Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich and obviously Derrick Rose, the Miami Heat had no answer for the 5'9" Nate Robinson.

Late in the first half with Miami leading by three, both Robinson and LeBron James dove for a loose ball that was heading out of bounds. The two made contact and Robinson suffered a cut on his lip that required 10 stitches. He was forced to leave the game for the rest of the half, but not for the rest of the game.

In the second half, Robinson returned and scored 24 including Chicago's last seven to seal the 93-86 victory at AmericanAirlines Arena.

With under 1:30 left in the game and the score tied at 86, Robinson used a crossover to create space between him and Mario Chalmers and buried a long two-point jumper. After the Bulls got the ball back, Robinson refused to a screen from Joakim Noah and called his teammates off so he could take Ray Allen one-on-one. He did just that, driving right through the lane and making a scoop layup over Chris Bosh.

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"You just got to continue to fight. You have to muster up enough energy and enough fight to go in there and continue to play as hard as you can and produce for your teammates. They expect you to get stitched up and come back up there and continue to battle and that's what I did," said Robinson after the game. "I've played on some tough teams. But this one, there's something a little different, something special about this group."

Robinson finished with a game-high 27 points on 8 of 16 shooting from the field. Counting his 10 stitches, he came awfully close to a triple-double with nine assists.

Through Chicago's eight postseason games, Robinson is averaging 31.3 minutes and 18.3 points per game while shooting 50.4 percent from the field.

"He has the heart of a lion," Noah said of Robinson, via the Chicago-Sun Times. "To be that small and do the things he does gives us a lot of confidence. He can really put the ball in the hole. And we need that."

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