Notebook: Bulls 86, Heat 84



Posted Jan 5, 2013 12:07 AM

By Zachary Paul, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: The Chicago Bulls defeated the Miami Heat 96-89 Friday at AmericanAirlines Arena. Carlos Boozer led the Bulls with 27 points and 12 rebounds. The Bulls were able to knock off the defending champions behind a balanced offensive effort, as Joakim Noah and Nate Robinson each scored 13 points while Kirk Hinrich finished with 10.

The Heat led by as many as seven in the first half but were unable to overcome a poor rebounding effort, especially on the offensive glass. They finished with just 28 rebounds, which was less than the total of just Noah, Boozer and Taj Gibson combined (33).

Miami was led by forward LeBron James, who scored 30 points despite playing with a knee contusion. It wasn't announced until 45 minutes before the game that James would play. Guard Dwyane Wade added 22 points and four assists.

QUOTABLE: "You have to make hustle plays against them. ... Overall, I thought everyone played well and we need that. In order to beat a team like this, you need contributions from everybody."

--Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau

THE STAT: The Bulls (18-13) outrebounded the Heat 48-28, including 19 offensive boards.

TURNING POINT: Bulls guard Nate Robinson hit a 3-pointer, giving Chicago a 10-point lead with 6:34 remaining.

QUOTABLE II: "There's not a whole lot to say. You guys could already write your stories. I could already have my talk. Everybody understands in both locker rooms what the overwhelming key to the game was and we've got to get better. They just pounded us."

--Heat coach Erik Spoelstra

HOT: Boozer started by making his first five shots and never looked back. He finished 12-for-17 from the field, giving the Bulls a huge advantage in the frontcourt over the Heat (22-9).

NOT: Shane Battier shot just 1-for-6 from, including 1-for-5 from 3-point range. Because of his struggles, he passed up a couple open 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter that could have changed the outcome.

GOOD MOVE: Although the Bulls allowed James, Wade and center Chris Bosh to score, they did a solid job on containing the bench. No other Heat player scored in double figures. It made controlling the "Big Three" much easier.

BAD MOVE: The Heat were once again plagued by poor defensive and rebounding habits. The Bulls shot at a high clip (45 percent), but were also the beneficiary of several open looks and second-chance points.

UP NEXT: For the Heat, Sunday vs Wizards, Tuesday @ Pacers, Thursday @ Trail Blazers. For the Bulls, Monday vs. Cavs, Wednesday vs. Bucks, Friday @ Knicks.