102 - 106 Final
  for this game

Bulls top Heat without Rose

Mar 15, 2012 - 6:27 AM Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Without Derrick Rose, the Bulls got 24 points from John Lucas in Wednesday's 106-102 win over the Heat.

Chicago had lost five straight to Miami dating back to last year's Eastern Conference finals and was missing Rose due to a sore groin, but Lucas made 9- of-12 shots, scored 13 in the fourth quarter and knocked down a pair of free throws with six seconds left to seal the final result.

Joakim Noah added 14 points in the win while Ronnie Brewer finished with 12. Luol Deng and C.J. Watson both returned from injury and scored 11 apiece for the Bulls, who improved to an NBA-best 36-9 on the season.

"Derrick had a little talk with me before the game and he was like, 'It's time for you to step up,'" said Lucas. "I told him I got him."

The Heat were coming off of consecutive overtime games, beating Indiana on Saturday before falling to Orlando on Tuesday. They have lost four straight on the road and will close a three-game trek at Philadelphia on Friday.

Dwyane Wade scored 36 points and LeBron James had 35 in the loss. Miami sits at 31-11 on the year and trails only Chicago in the Eastern Conference standings.

"I'm not concerned," Wade said. "I just want us to play better as a group. ... I don't want us to lose confidence."

James, who famously finished an alley-oop by jumping over Lucas earlier this season, scored 14 first-quarter points en route to a 23-19 Miami lead. But Lucas nearly matched his victimizer in the second, scoring 11 on 4-of-4 shooting and helping Chicago built a 16-point lead.

The Bulls never relinquished the advantage.

They were up 53-42 at the break and scored seven straight -- four from Watson, three from Brewer -- after the Heat had pulled within four, 57-53, midway through the third.

It was 81-70 after three and 90-80 in the fourth when Lucas made another impression, scoring his team's next six points, capped by a fading jumper over James for a 96-84 Bulls lead.

The Heat made a late surge. They hit seven straight shots and cut the deficit to four, 100-96, on a Wade step back jumper with 1:22 left. But Wade missed a three-pointer after a Lucas air ball and Brewer's offensive rebound off a Deng miss forced Miami to foul.

Kyle Korver's free throws on each of the Bulls' next two possessions were countered by James Jones' three-pointers, making it 104-102. Lucas was then fouled and he sunk a pair from the charity stripe to cap the scoring before James missed a three at the buzzer.

"I would say so," said Lucas when asked if Wednesday's game was his finest as a professional.

Game Notes

Rose missed his 11th game this season...Deng had been sidelined due to ongoing problems with a torn ligament in his wrist. Watson had a sprained left ankle...Earlier Wednesday, the Bulls signed guard Mike James to another 10-day contract...The Heat won the only other matchup between the teams this season, 97-93, on Jan. 29.