Ron Mercer stopped the insanity late in the game, scoring eight of his 19 points in the final 2:23.
Ron Mercer scored eight of his 19 points in the final 2:23 as the Bulls beat the Miami Heat 78-72 Thursday night for their second victory of the season.
It was Chicago's first win since Nov. 3, snapping a 10-game losing streak.
"Pretty for me? Absolutely," Bulls coach Tim Floyd said. "It was beautiful. It was gorgeous."
Floyd might have been overreacting, considering the Bulls scored only 10 points in the third quarter on 19 percent shooting. That's only four more points than the record-low six they scored in the third period at New Jersey on Tuesday night.
But the Bulls got big baskets when they needed them, and Miami
didn't have many answers after Alonzo Mourning fouled out with 9:35 left.
It was the 10th straight loss for the Heat. Miami last lost 10 straight games Dec. 1-21, 1990.
"I don't know what the heck to say," said Eddie Jones, who led Miami with 15 points.
Trenton Hassell added 13 for the Bulls, and Greg Anthony had a superb defensive game, finishing with six steals, one off his
career high, and five assists with no turnovers. Charles Oakley had 10 rebounds, including a couple of key stops in the final minutes.
Mourning and Rod Strickland added 13 for Miami, which gave up 22
points on 21 turnovers.
"I've never lost 10 games in a row at any level," Mourning said. "This is new to me. But I'm not going to succumb to disappointment or be sorry for myself. I'm going to look at this as a challenge."
The Heat had plenty of chances to win the game, as did the
Bulls. When Chris Gatling made a pair of free throws with 10:40
left, he gave Miami a 59-57 lead. But Mourning fouled out about a minute later, after being called for holding Brad Miller, and things got interesting for the Bulls.
"We got a big lift with Mourning not being in there," Floyd said. "That's OK. We needed a break."
Mourning said he's not quite sure what he did to earn the foul.
"It wasn't really a moving screen, he tripped on my foot," Mourning said. "But they called it the way they saw it."
Gatling scored on a putback to give Miami a 70-67 lead with 4:04 left. After yet another Bulls miss, Anthony stole the ball and took it in for a fastbreak layup, drawing a foul in the process.
Anthony missed the free throw, leaving the Bulls trailing 70-69
with 3:12 left. But Oakley got the rebound and Vladimir Stepania fouled Miller.
Miller missed the first shot but made the second, tying the game
with 2:51 left. It was all Mercer after that. He hit a jumper from
the top of the key and then hit one from about 18 feet to give
Chicago a 74-72 lead.
Mercer took advantage of a nice pick by Oakley, connecting on a
wide-open jumper to give Chicago a 76-72 lead with 1:06 left. After
Oakley deflected a shot by Stepania, Mercer drew a foul from Eddie
Jones and made both free throws to seal the victory.
"Just go out and play," Mercer said of his big finish. "If the opportunities are there, just go out and play."
In the first half, Hassell scored on a layup to start a 12-4 run
that gave Chicago a 47-40 lead at halftime. Free throws played a
big part in the run, as the Bulls made eight of 11 during the
Game notes The Bulls were 17-of-23 from the line in the first half.
... Miami F LaPhonso Ellis needed seven stitches in his chin in the
middle of the game. He returned in second half. ... Bulls rookie
Tyson Chandler, the second overall pick in the draft, didn't play
after spraining his right ankle in warmups. ... The Heat have used
10 different starting lineups so far, the same number they used in
all of last season.