Rapid Reaction: Heat 97, Bulls 93
January, 29, 2012
By Nick Friedell
MIAMI -- Let's take a quick look at how the Miami Heat earned a 97-93 win over the Chicago Bulls on Sunday afternoon at American Airlines Arena.
How it happened: LeBron James was dominant throughout the day, scoring 35 points and leading a Heat to an impressive win. Derrick Rose did his best to keep up with James, scoring 34 points, but in the end the Heat made a few more plays down the stretch. Joakim Noah chipped in with 11 points and 11 rebounds. What everyone will be talking about is Rose’s chance to give the Bulls the lead with 22.7 seconds left, when he missed two free throws and then stood on the side of the floor in disbelief. He had another chance to tie the game with two seconds left, but missed a running floater. Rose will have nightmares about this game. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau better hope the experience motivates him for the rest of the year.
What it means: Playing without Luol Deng (wrist) and C.J. Watson (wrist), the easy explanation for the Bulls is that they weren't at full strength, so nobody should read much into this game. While there is absolutely truth in that, the larger issue for the Bulls is that Carlos Boozer continues to struggle when his team needs him the most. He spent much of the day in foul trouble and was a non-factor aside from a couple of solid plays late in the game. It's an ongoing issue for the Bulls that just isn't going away.
Stat of the night: The Bulls never once held the lead. Other than that, most stats were pretty even. The overarching theme of this game is that these two teams are very evenly matched … again. It is going to be fun to watch them battle it out for the rest of this season.
What's next: The Bulls are right back at it Monday night when they take on the Washington Wizards.