MIAMI (AP) -- Caron Butler dedicated his best game of the season
to his new baby girl.
Playing on only three hours' sleep after the birth of his third
child, Butler scored 12 of his season-high 30 points in the fourth
quarter and pulled down a career-best 13 rebounds to lead the Miami
Heat to a 105-96 victory Monday night over the Chicago Bulls.
"That's for my baby, that's for my child right there," Butler
His fiancee gave birth to a daughter, Mia, at 2:58 a.m. on
"I'm drained man," said Butler, who also had five assists and
two blocked shots.
Early in the fourth quarter, Butler blocked Marcus Fizer's shot,
retrieved the loose ball, dribbled the length of the court and hit
a driving layup as he was fouled. He completed the three-point play
to tie it at 81.
"That was a big momentum change, that's when the crowd started
going crazy," Butler said.
Dwyane Wade finished with 21 points as Miami won its ninth
consecutive home game to remain in sixth place in the Eastern
Conference playoff race.
"That was a heck of a win for us tonight," coach Stan Van
Gundy said. "It is incredible how far we have come this year."
Brian Grant's jumper with 4:42 remaining put Miami ahead for
good at 87-86 and helped the Heat to a 13-2 run. Butler's two free
throws with 2:29 left capped the run, giving the Heat a 96-88 lead.
"We have a hard time maintaining our concentration and staying
with things that are working when the game gets close," Chicago
coach Scott Skiles said. "It has been our nemesis all season."
Kirk Hinrich scored 20 points to lead the Bulls, who have lost
Udonis Haslem's fast-break dunk helped cap a 10-0 run to give
Miami a 72-71 lead with 22 seconds remaining in the third quarter
and counter a 10-point Bulls spurt.
But Chicago's Jamal Crawford was fouled by Wade attempting a
3-point shot. Wade protested the call and was hit with a technical
foul by referee Ken Mauer. Crawford hit all four free throws to end
The Heat, missing forward Lamar Odom with a bruised knee, lost
reserve forward Malik Allen to a knee injury early in the second
quarter. They struggled in the post area and opted for a perimeter
offense for most of the first half.
"The offense started to click because we really started to get
down and defended," Wade said. "Caron did a great job with some
steals and blocks."
Eddy Curry scored 12 first-half points as the Bulls led for most
of the first two periods. Chicago had five eight-point leads in the
second quarter, the last one coming on Curry's hook shot to give
the Bulls a 46-38 advantage with 1:43 remaining.
Wade hit four free throws and Eddie Jones made a pair to help
Miami reduce the late second-half deficit.
"It gets more frustrating with each (loss)," said Curry, who
finished with 16 points. "It's great to have the effort but you
don't want to lose."
Odom sat out Monday's game with a right knee bruise sustained in
Friday's victory over Dallas. He saw limited action in Sunday's
loss at Indiana.
Odom had missed only one game this season. He is second to Jones
in scoring at 17.1 points per game and leads the team in rebounds
Allen was removed from the court on a stretcher after hurting
his left knee with 8:56 remaining in the second quarter. Allen and
Curry collided as both battled for position. Curry fell on Allen's
knee and Allen immediately grimaced in pain.
Allen did not return, and tests revealed a mild ligament sprain.
He is day to day.
"Down going into the fourth, we hung in there," Van Gundy
said. "Our guys have some mental toughness now."
Miami guard Rafer Alston's 3-pointer with 7:06 left in the
second quarter increased his consecutive games streak with a
3-pointer to 40. ... The Heat's home winning streak ties the
second-longest in team history. ... Crawford has hit a 3-pointer in
43 of his last 47 games. ... Bulls forward Tyson Chandler sat out
as he served a one-game suspension for throwing a punch at
Atlanta's Michael Bradley on Saturday.