Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Playing without LeBron James, the Miami Heat
had no problem dispatching the Chicago Bulls on Sunday thanks to the rest of
the Big 3.
Chris Bosh scored 28 points with 10 rebounds and Dwyane Wade added a 23-point,
10-rebound double-double to help the Heat to a 93-79 win.
James missed the contest because of a broken nose that he suffered in
Thursday's lopsided win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Heat expect
him to be back in the lineup when they face the Knicks at home this coming
Mario Chalmers deposited 12 points with nine assists and Ray Allen contributed
10 points off the bench in Miami's fifth straight win.
"It was a good Eastern Conference win for our guys coming off the West Coast.
And that's what it was, it was a welcome back to Eastern Conference
basketball," said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.
Joakim Noah finished with 20 points and a game-high 15 rebounds and Taj Gibson
netted 20 points with 10 boards for Chicago, which had its season-high tying
five-game winning streak snapped.
"Those guys have ended our seasons a lot," Noah said. "You've got to hate
playing those guys, and every time we play them our intensity has to be high."
Both teams played a tightly contested first half with each having a lead by no
more than five and Wade's jumper as time expired in the second quarter tying
the game at 40-apiece at the break.
Carlos Boozer knocked down a pair of free throws to give the Bulls a slim
50-49 lead with 5:21 left in the third. Bosh then responded with a 3-pointer
that sparked a 16-2 run to end the frame.
Chicago went 0-for-7 from the field with four turnover in the final five
minutes of the quarter.
Wade made two free throws and a layup around an Allen 3 as the Heat took their
largest lead of the game, 75-56, with over eight minutes left. The Bulls were
held to 29-of-81 (35.8 percent) shooting in the game and couldn't get any
closer than 11 the rest of the way.
There were 11 ties and nine lead changes ... Mike Dunleavy scored 13 points
and Kirk Hinrich added 10 in the setback ... Chicago's Jimmy Butler missed the
contest with a bruised rib ... Greg Oden scored five points with five rebounds
in 12:49 of action in his first start since 2009 ... The Bulls outrebounded
the Heat 51-41 ... Miami scored 22 points off 19 Chicago turnovers.