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Rapid Reaction: Bulls 96, Heat 89

1/5/2013

MIAMI -- Let's take a quick look at how the the Chicago Bulls earned an impressive 96-89 win over the Miami Heat on Friday night at American Airlines Arena.

How it happened: Carlos Boozer played one of the best games of his Bulls career, scoring 27 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Joakim Noah added 13 points and 12 rebounds. LeBron James led the Heat with 30 points and six rebounds, but it was not enough on this night.

What it means: What a week it has been for the Bulls. After their worst loss of the season to the lowly Charlotte Bobcats on Monday afternoon, the Bulls followed with a win in Orlando on Wednesday and their most impressive win of the year Friday night over the Heat. The Bulls weren't given much of a chance in this game because of the absence of Derrick Rose, but they grinded the Heat out and made plays when they had to in the final minutes. Thibodeau's team has shown plenty of resolve over the past few years, so this win shouldn't necessarily come as a surprise, but with the way the Bulls have played at points this season, it will surely surprise some people around the league. Long term, this win may not mean much given the struggles the Bulls had with the Heat in the playoffs, but Tom Thibodeau has to be happy with the way his team has bounced back.

Hits: Nate Robinson played very well off the bench, scoring 13 points and making several big plays down the stretch. His energy helped spark the Bulls in the second half.

Misses: Luol Deng was just 2-for-9 from the field but his solid defense helped propel the Bulls.

Stat of the night: After being outrebounded in their last five games, the Bulls hit the boards in a big way, outrebounding the Heat: 48-28.

What's next: The Bulls have a couple days off before facing the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night.