for this game

Heat hold off Bulls

Jan 30, 2012 - 1:06 AM Miami, FL (Sports Network) - LeBron James ended with 35 points and 11 rebounds, and the Miami Heat held off the Chicago Bulls, 97-93, in a rematch of last season's Eastern Conference Finals.

Miami was up by eight with 2 1/2 minutes to play, but its lead was down to one after Derrick Rose converted a three-point play with 49.1 seconds to play. But Rose missed two free throws and a jumper in the remaining time, and Chicago fell short.

"Derrick [Rose] was Derrick, always attacking," Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said.

Chris Bosh had 24 points and 12 boards, and knocked down two free throws in the final second to secure the Heat's fourth straight win.

While Rose poured in 34 points, the Bulls lost for the second time in three games. Sunday's matchup was the first time they played the Heat since losing last season's conference finals in five games.

Miami seemed to be in control after Shane Battier and James began the fourth quarter with back-to-back makes from beyond the arc, pushing the Heat's lead to 82-71.

The Bulls, who never led during Sunday's contest but nearly overcame a few double-digit deficits, rallied to tie the game. Rose ended the run with buckets on consecutive possession, making it an 84-84 contest with 6:55 to play.

However, Chicago went scoreless for nearly four minutes, allowing the Heat to build a multiple-possession lead. James made two foul shots with 2:34 on the clock to give Miami a 94-86 advantage.

The Heat got the ball back after Richard Hamilton missed a jumper, but missed three shots on one possession before James was whistled for traveling. That opened the door for Chicago to come back, and Carlos Boozer sank two jumpers before Rose's three-point play made it a 94-93 contest.

James drove the lane and missed a jumper at the other end, creating a fastbreak for the Bulls. Rose lost the ball as he drove to the hoop, but drew a foul call as he tried to gain possession near the baseline.

After Rose missed both free throw tries, Chicago was granted new life when James missed two foul shots with 17.6 seconds left. A questionable whistle after the second miss led to a jump ball at center court, and Chicago was forced to foul after Mario Chalmers gained possession.

"It was a tough call for both teams, it really was," Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said. "That is why you have to play everything out to the end of the possession."

Chalmers missed the second and the Bulls got the rebound, which Boozer nearly bobbled the ball away before Rose managed to grab it. He called timeout before stumbling his way backward to a traveling call.

The timeout left the Bulls with 9.9 seconds and several options. They didn't need a three-pointer to tie the game and could give the ball to Rose for a drive.

But the Heat's defense collapsed on Rose in the lane, denying him a clean look at the basket. Rose had to stop completely, the spun around on his pivot foot and tossed up a weak one-handed jumper. The ball hit short, and Bosh secured the rebound.

The pattern of the fourth quarter -- Miami building a lead before Chicago rallied -- mirrored the scoring flow of the whole game.

The Heat opened the contest with an 18-7 run that featured James jumping over Bulls guard John Lucas III -- who stands at 5-foot-11 -- to complete a baseline alley-oop dunk.

The Bulls battled back to get within 24-22 at the end of the opening quarter, then tied the game on Ronnie Brewer's dunk to begin the second.

But the Heat took control by scoring the next 11 points, including four from Bosh. Miami couldn't turn the game into a blowout -- Kyle Korver connected on a pair of threes to help keep the Bulls in the contest -- but still led the rest of the half.

After Bosh sank a jumper with 22.8 seconds to play, Hamilton made two free throws to close the quarter and make it a 56-51 contest at the break.

Miami led throughout the third, but never by more than eight, and carried a 76-71 advantage into the fourth.

Game Notes

Dwyane Wade had 15 points and seven assists for Miami, but made only 4-of-16 shots from the field...Joakim Noah ended with 11 points and 11 boards for Chicago, while Hamilton also netted 11 points. Boozer and Brewer both posted 10 points...Chicago won all three regular season meetings in 2010-11.