MIAMI (NBA.com exclusive) -- Trust went a long way toward getting Miami a 95-87 victory over Chicago on Sunday at AmericanAirlines Arena.
It was trust that allowed guard Dwyane Wade, one of the game's best crunch time performers, to give up game-securing shots and pass to teammates Udonis Haslem (19 points, 11 rebounds) and Quentin Richardson down the stretch.
"It's all about trust," said Wade, who ended with 25 points, "and my teammates are doing a great job in these first games in making us believe in each other."
Wade also became the 43rd active player to top the 10,000-point plateau.
Miami is 3-0 for only the third time in franchise history, and the first time since the 2004-05 season. In all three games this season it has held its opponent to less than 41 percent shooting from the field.
But it might have been Chicago's defense that had the most late-game influence. The Bulls' defense smothered Wade on the plays he passed to Haslem and Richardson. And although Wade, the league's leading scorer last season, could have taken those clutch shots and at least gone to the free throw line, he opted to be charitable.
"You'll probably see a lot more of that as teams take the ball out of his hands at the end of the game," coach Erik Spoelstra said. Chicago (1-2) felt good about its defense, but its offense was another matter.
"We had good looks and good shots, but we just didn't knock them down," Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro said.
Miami, on the other hand, did knock down its open shots. Wade was just 1-for-3 shooting in the fourth quarter. The Bulls, however, still couldn't overtake the Heat. Chicago's last lead came at 83-82 when John Salmons (17 points) hit a 3-pointer. From there the Heat ended the game on a 13-4 run that included Richardson's 3-pointer and Haslem's jumper.
Haslem, a starter for six years until he was benched in favor of Michael Beasley this season, hit a 17-foot baseline jumper with 47.4 seconds left to extend Miami's lead to 91-87. Richardson's 3-pointer gave Miami an 89-83 lead with 1:41 left.
Those shots highlighted the difference between how Miami and Chicago executed down the stretch. Bulls forward Luol Deng ended with a game-high 26 points but he was just 1-for-5 for four points in the fourth quarter.
And Chicago guard Derrick Rose was hard-pressed to make an impact. He finished with eight points on 4-for-15 shooting and didn't seem to have the burst that was his specialty last season en route to Rookie off the Year honors.
"His ankle isn't 100 percent and his conditioning isn't great because he had to sit out for a couple of weeks," Del Negro said.
Beasley recorded a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds and is now averaging 14.6 points per game in his 22 career starts. Even though Beasley was just 3-for-12 from the field, his contribution was helpful.
"I think it shows maturity," he said. "Last year if I wasn't scoring I was pretty much useless. This year I want to show not only the team, but the league and the world that I can do more than score."