Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/29

Game 1: Thursday, November 29th
Game 2: Tuesday, January 22nd
Game 3: Monday, February 18th
Game 4: Wednesday, March 6th

Bulls 80

(12-40, 3-24 away)

Heat 102

(21-30, 10-14 home)

    7:30 PM ET, February 18, 2002

    AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL

    1 2 3 4 T
    CHI 24 16 15 2580
    MIA 23 22 23 34102

    Top Performers

    Chicago: F. Hoiberg 11 Pts, 8 Reb, 2 Ast

    Miami: A. Mourning 23 Pts, 8 Reb, 2 Blk

    Bulls dress only eight, Heat stay hot

    MIAMI (AP) -- The Miami Heat played as if their focus was squarely on the playoffs. The Chicago Bulls are thinking about the trade deadline.

    Alonzo Mourning scored 23 points, and Miami beat the Bulls 102-80 Monday night for its 13th victory in 17 games.

    With trade rumors swirling, the Bulls dressed only eight players, holding forward Ron Artest and center Brad Miller out of the game and leaving injured forward Charles Oakley at home.

    Reports have linked all three to a possible six-player trade with the Indiana Pacers that would send Travis Best, Jalen Rose and Bruno Sundov to the Bulls.

    The NBA trade deadline is Thursday.

    "Nothing is finalized," Chicago coach Bill Cartwright said. "We'll wait and see what happens."

    Chicago's players learned just before the game that a deal might be looming and the roster would be limited against the Heat.

    "It's hard when it comes right before the game," Bulls guard A.J. Guyton said. "You've got guys you are depending on, relying on, and they are taken away. You just have to stand up and try to execute, and that makes a tough situation."

    The Heat, who only last week climbed out of last place in the Atlantic Division, pulled within four games of Indiana for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

    "I was concerned that once our players knew that so many of their guys were out, they wouldn't respect the game," Miami coach Pat Riley said. "In the second half, we passed the ball well and took care of business against a very undermanned team."

    Mourning played 29 minutes. The Heat, who lost at Minnesota on Sunday, rested many of their regulars in the fourth quarter after putting the game out of reach.

    Eddie Jones scored 16 points, Eddie House added 14, and Kendall Gill and Jim Jackson each scored 12 as the Heat shot 56 percent from the field and won for the fifth time in their last six home games.

    "That team came out and fought, but we overwhelmed them in the second half," Jones said. "We played better against the zone and did a lot of good things by finding our big guys. You have to be encouraged by that, but we still have a long way to go."

    The injury-riddled Bulls lost their fourth straight game and 10th in their last 14.

    Tyson Chandler and Guyton led Chicago with 13 points, and Eddy Curry scored 12 as the Bulls dropped to 3-24 on the road.

    Despite outrebounding Chicago 25-15 and getting a season-high 18 points from Mourning, Miami led just 45-40 at halftime.

    Mourning scored 10 points as the Heat opened the second quarter with a 14-6 run to take a 37-30 lead with 6:46 left in the first half.

    "If you let a team like that hang in there, all of a sudden things can happen," Riley said. "We started to get some turnovers, some blocks and some transition hoops. Once we got the lead to 10 or 12 points, it went from there."

    The Heat took control in the third quarter, starting on a 10-2 run to build a 55-42 lead. They had a 68-55 advantage at the end of the period.

    "Overall, our guys gave a tremendous effort," Cartwright said. "We hung in there in the first half, but the second half was a different story. I think fatigue may have caught up with us."

    The game was reminiscent of a Bulls-Heat matchup on Feb. 22, 1996. In that game, Riley, then in his first season with the Heat, dressed only eight players on the eve of a big trade. Miami went out and stunned the Bulls, then in the middle of their championship run, behind Rex Chapman's 39 points.

    "When I got the starting lineup for Chicago tonight, it reminded me of what happened my first year here," Riley said. "At the trading deadline we made all those trades and only had eight players and we beat the world champions."

    Game notes

    The Bulls have lost five straight at Miami. ... In three games against the Heat this season, the Bulls have scored 78, 79 and 80 points. ... Trenton Hassell started his third straight game for Chicago and scored eight points after getting 20 and 18 in his previous two. ... House, who injured his right leg Friday against Milwaukee, scored 14 points in 21 minutes, one night after scoring 12 points in 22 minutes against Minnesota. ... Miami has won five of its last seven against Chicago.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press