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Bulls 95, Heat 88 (OT)

Alan Draper profile picture
Sports Editor
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CHICAGO — The Chicago Bulls took full advantage of the biggest advantage they have against the Miami Heat — rebounding.

Chicago dominated the second-chance points 27-6 and started the overtime period with seven of them, leading to a 95-88 victory over the Heat on Sunday afternoon at the United Center.

Miami (43-17) lost its third straight game overall and fell to 1-7 in regular-season games at the United Center since the start of the 2010-11 season, when Miami’s Big Three was first assembled and Tom Thibodeau became head coach of the Bulls.

Chicago center Joakim Noah had a monster game, finishing with 20 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists and five blocks. Guard D.J. Augustin added 22 points, while guard Jimmy Butler finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds and played good defense on forward LeBron James.

Guard Dwyane Wade, a Chicago native, led Miami with 25 points. James finished with 17 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, but hit just 8 of 23 shots from the field.

The Bulls (35-28) opened overtime with a 9-0 run. First, an offensive rebound by forward Taj Gibson led to a wide open 3-pointer from Augustin. Then a rebound by Butler extended a possession that ended with a Butler jumper. Noah ripped a rebound away from Miami center Chris Andersen and finished a layin to put the Bulls ahead 93-86.

Noah then blocked a shot by Heat guard Mario Chalmers, which led to a fast-break opportunity and two free throws by Butler. That put Chicago ahead 95-86 with 1:33 left and the game was all but over.

Chicago trailed by 12 points early in the fourth quarter, then put together a 13-0 run. Augustin’s 3-pointer brought the Bulls within one, before a steal and two free throws by Butler put the Bulls ahead 75-74 with 6:34 remaining.

The lead changed hands several times the rest of the way. Noah connected on two hook shots to tie the score, while a 3-pointer from center Chris Bosh put Miami up 82-80 with 3:18 left.

Chicago regained the lead at 84-82 when Butler knocked the ball loose from James on a drive, leading to a fast-break slam by Gibson with 2:08 left.

After the teams exchanged misses, James tied it with a reverse layup. Miami took an 86-84 lead on two Wade free throws with 29.2 seconds on the clock. A driving scoop by Chicago guard Kirk Hinrich tied the score and the Heat’s chance to win in regulation ended with Butler stripping the ball from James on a drive to the basket.

Miami took control by producing a 15-0 run late in the second quarter. The Bulls led 35-28 after a Noah free throw with 5:42 left in the second quarter. The Heat got its running game going, with fast-break buckets by Bosh and Chalmers, along with an alley-oop dunk from Chalmers to James, surrounding a 3-pointer by guard Norris Cole.

A jumper by Wade completed the run and gave Miami a 43-35 lead with 27.1 seconds left. Noah’s running hook with 2.7 seconds left in the quarter finally ended Chicago’s dry spell and made it a six-point margin at halftime.

The Heat threatened to put the game away several times. A 7-0 run, capped by a James windmill dunk off a pass from Cole, gave Miami its biggest lead at 62-50 with 2:30 left in the third.

James and Butler were hit with double technical fouls with 3:57 left in the second quarter. The two players got tangled up under the Miami basket after Butler’s deflection created a turnover. While the other players headed down court, James and Butler ended up wrestling on the floor until a referee finally intervened.

Noah was given a technical foul in the third quarter as the teams headed into a timeout. Noah appeared to say something to Chalmers just before he got the technical.

NOTES: Miami F LeBron James started Sunday’s game without the protective mask on his face. James started wearing the mask after suffering a broken nose on Feb. 20 at the Oklahoma City Thunder. He took it off during Miami’s loss Thursday at the San Antonio Spurs. … James, on why he flew to Cleveland on Saturday night for the jersey retirement of former teammate Zydrunas Ilgauskas: “I played eight years with Z. There’s one constant teammate that I had over the years; one constant friend I’ve had over the years.” … Bulls C Joakim Noah’s father, former tennis star Yannick Noah, was at Sunday’s game. … Teams owning four of the league’s five best records will visit Chicago during its six-game homestand. Following Miami into the United Center will be San Antonio, the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City.

Alan is an expert gambling writer who works as one of the chief editors for Basketball Insiders. He has been covering online gambling and sports betting for over 8 years, having written for the likes of Sportlens,, The Sports Daily, 90min, and His particular specialisms include US online casinos and gambling regulations, and soccer and basketball betting. Based in London, Alan holds an MA in English Literature and is a passionate supporter of Chelsea FC.

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