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Sunday, March 9, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Bulls 95, Heat 88

By Nick Friedell


CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls earned a hard-fought 95-88 overtime win over the Miami Heat on Sunday afternoon at the United Center.

How it happened: D.J. Augustin led the Bulls with 22 points while Joakim Noah had another huge game with 20 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists as the Bulls earned arguably their most emotional win of the year. Dwyane Wade led the Heat with 25 points, but Miami didn't make enough plays down the stretch and into overtime while the Bulls did.

What it means: Noah hated the way his team performed in its second-half collapse a few weeks ago in Miami. He challenged his teammates to play with more passion and energy against the team that has given them so many problems over the years. They answered the bell Sunday. The Bulls came back from a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter and did all the little things late that have defined them under Tom Thibodeau. Their defense was on point and came up huge in the waning moments. They never quit on the game and rose to the challenge when they needed a boost. A win like this will push their confidence even higher as they enter the final stretch of the season.

Hits: Jimmy Butler had 16 points and 11 rebounds, but it was his strip of LeBron James at the end of regulation that pushed this game into overtime and helped the Bulls earn the win.

Misses: Carlos Boozer was 4-for-14 from the field.

Stat of the night: Second-chance points: Bulls 27, Heat 6.

What's next: The Bulls face the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night.