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(Sunday, February 23rd)
Final Score: Miami 93, Chicago 79
Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Playing without LeBron James, the Miami Heat had no problem dispatching the Chicago Bulls on Sunday thanks to the rest of the Big 3.
Chris Bosh scored 28 points with 10 rebounds and Dwyane Wade added a 23-point, 10-rebound double-double to help the Heat to a 93-79 win.
James missed the contest because of a broken nose that he suffered in Thursday's lopsided win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Heat expect him to be back in the lineup when they face the Knicks at home this coming Thursday.
Mario Chalmers deposited 12 points with nine assists and Ray Allen contributed 10 points off the bench in Miami's fifth straight win.
"It was a good Eastern Conference win for our guys coming off the West Coast. And that's what it was, it was a welcome back to Eastern Conference basketball," said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.
Joakim Noah finished with 20 points and a game-high 15 rebounds and Taj Gibson netted 20 points with 10 boards for Chicago, which had its season-high tying five-game winning streak snapped.
"Those guys have ended our seasons a lot," Noah said. "You've got to hate playing those guys, and every time we play them our intensity has to be high."
Both teams played a tightly contested first half with each having a lead by no more than five and Wade's jumper as time expired in the second quarter tying the game at 40-apiece at the break.
Carlos Boozer knocked down a pair of free throws to give the Bulls a slim 50-49 lead with 5:21 left in the third. Bosh then responded with a 3-pointer that sparked a 16-2 run to end the frame.
Chicago went 0-for-7 from the field with four turnovers in the final five minutes of the quarter.
Wade made two free throws and a layup around an Allen 3 as the Heat took their largest lead of the game, 75-56, with over eight minutes left. The Bulls were held to 29-of-81 (35.8 percent) shooting in the game and couldn't get any closer than 11 the rest of the way.
There were 11 ties and nine lead changes ... Mike Dunleavy scored 13 points and Kirk Hinrich added 10 in the setback ... Chicago's Jimmy Butler missed the contest with a bruised rib ... Greg Oden scored five points with five rebounds in 12:49 of action in his first start since 2009 ... The Bulls outrebounded the Heat 51-41 ... Miami scored 22 points off 19 Chicago turnovers.
02/24 00:45:58 ET