Final Score: Chicago 107, Miami 87
Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Joakim Noah recorded 17 points and 15
rebounds and Carlos Boozer added 27 and nine as the Chicago Bulls pounded the
Miami Heat, 107-87, at the United Center.
Luol Deng made four of Chicago's 10 3-pointers in another 20-point
performance, and Taj Gibson came off the bench and contributed 19 points in
the surprisingly easy win.
The Bulls, who were coming off their first home loss of the season and had
dropped six of their previous seven, made half of their shots and held the
Heat to 17 points below their season average.
"It's been a tough couple of weeks, but it feels good to win," Noah said.
Miami was abused down low for the second straight game, getting outrebounded
by a 49-27 margin while allowing 24 second-chance points.
LeBron James had a team-high 21 points but no other Heat player really stepped
up in the absence of Dwyane Wade.
"We didn't step up to the challenge," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra admitted. "We
have to own it. That's the first part. The answer has to come from that locker
The Bulls received a glimmer of hope hours before the game when Derrick Rose,
in his first public appearance since undergoing surgery on his torn right
meniscus, did not completely rule out a return for the postseason.
The rest of the team gave the Chicago fan base every reason to believe it will
be back in the postseason with Thursday's performance. The Bulls never trailed
after tying the game at 6-6 just 2:30 into the game.
Deng drained a 3-pointer just before the first-quarter buzzer to give the
Bulls a 29-20 cushion, then hit another from long range early in the second
for a 36-24 Chicago cushion.
A 9-0 run later in the quarter pushed the Bulls' lead to 45-28, and it was a
58-44 game in Chicago's favor at the break.
There were apparently no adjustments at halftime for Miami, as the third
quarter played out much the same way the first half did.
Chicago held a comfortable 72-47 advantage following a Tony Snell 3-pointer
3:09 into the third, which ended with the hosts sporting an 85-63 lead.
With James on the bench, the Heat cut their deficit to as low as 12 with 5 1/2
minutes to play, but Chicago scored the next seven points to ice things.
Miami upended the Bulls, 107-95, in the season opener for both teams ... The
Heat had their 10-game winning steak snapped by Detroit on Tuesday ... Chicago
improved to 6-1 at home ... Wade saw out for the second straight game, this
time because of an illness ... Deng has scored 20 or more points in six
straight games ... Miami had a five-game road winning streak snapped.
12/06 01:47:20 ET
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