Heat Reaction: Postgame grades
LeBron James 7-12 FG | 9-12 FT | 7 REB | 6 AST | 24 PTS | +8
An expectedly physical outing from LeBron. After trading flagrant fouls with the Bulls in their last meeting, LeBron certainly didn't shy away from contact on Sunday and neither did the Bulls. At one point, Nate Robinson pulled an airborne LeBron down by the back of his jersey on a dunk attempt. Doesn't get much more dangerous than that.
Dwyane Wade 7-12 FG | 8-14 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 22 PTS | +23
Wade's tendency to argue with the refs at the expense of getting back on defense hit its nadir in the third quarter. After getting a no-foul from Carlos Boozer, Wade trotted back only to foul Jimmy Butler beyond the arc for a four-point play. Not his finest moment. Otherwise, a much better output than his last game against Boston.
Chris Bosh 6-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 12 PTS | +9
Things were easier for Bosh with Joakim Noah, a Defensive Player of the Year candidate, sitting out with a foot injury. Rather than pounding the paint in Noah's absence, Bosh stuck to the perimeter, where he's been most comfortable this season. He's not all the way back from his bout with the flu, but his defense was in playoff form.
Chris Andersen 4-4 FG | 7-11 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 15 PTS | +5
"Birdman" was in full flight on Sunday. After nearly getting beheaded by a hard foul from Nazr Mohammed earlier in the game, Andersen paired a soaring putback dunk with an acrobatic reverse layup in the second quarter. He's clearly the second-best big man on the Heat (not counting that LeBron guy), but we'll see if his postseason minutes reflect that hierarchy. He deserves playing time over Udonis Haslem.
Sure, the Bulls were short-handed without Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Richard Hamilton, but if you thought they'd just lay down and let the Heat run all over them, you don't know a Tom Thibodeau-coached team. The Bulls hung tough until a bizarre 15-minute second-half stretch in which they didn't convert a 2-pointer. The sixth seed in the East looks to be theirs.
The Bulls were whistled for 30 fouls on Sunday, marking the most by a Heat opponent this season.
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