BULLS 106, HEAT 102: John Lucas scored 24 points while filling in for injured Derrick Rose as host Chicago defeated Miami in the battle of the Eastern Conference’s top two squads.
Joakim Noah scored 14 points and Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver added 12 points apiece for Chicago (36-9), which won despite the NBA's reigning MVP missing the game with a groin injury.
Dwyane Wade scored 19 of his 36 points in the final quarter and LeBron James added 35 points for Miami (31-11), which lost for the second consecutive night.
Lucas came off the bench to make nine of 12 shots, including three 3-pointers. C.J. Watson scored 11 points while starting in Rose’s place in his return from an ankle injury.
Chicago connected on 10 of 19 3-point shots and hit 24 of 26 free throws to lead in the entire second half.
The Bulls used a 13-4 surge in the third quarter to take a 17-point lead.
Luol Deng and Brewer hit back-to-back 3-pointers and Watson capped the run with a basket to make it 74-57 with 3:25 left in the quarter. Chicago led by 11 entering the final stanza.
The Bulls were leading 98-88 with three minutes to play before Wade scored eight points and James Jones hit two 3-pointers to pull Miami within 104-102 with 6.8 seconds left. Lucas hit two free throws with six seconds left to seal it.
Chicago used a 34-point second quarter to turn a four-point deficit into a 53-42 halftime lead.
GAME NOTEBOOK: The Bulls had a 50-34 rebounding edge. … Miami’s Chris Bosh had just 12 points and made just 3 of 15 field-goal attempts. … Deng (wrist) was back after a two-game absence and scored 11 points. … Miami forward Mike Miller (ankle) missed his second straight game.