Final / OT

Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 1/29

Game 1: Sunday, January 29th
Bulls93Final
Heat97
Game 2: Wednesday, March 14th
Heat102Final
Bulls106
Game 3: Thursday, April 12th
Heat86Final
OT
Bulls96
Game 4: Thursday, April 19th
Bulls72Final
Heat83

Heat 86

(40-17, 16-13 away)

Bulls 96

(45-14, 24-6 home)

    Coverage: TNT

    8:00 PM ET, April 12, 2012

    United Center, Chicago, IL

    1 2 3 4 OT T
    MIA 22 19 21 22 286
    CHI 19 17 24 24 1296

    Top Performers

    Mia: L. James 30 Pts, 6 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Chi: C. Watson 16 Pts, 3 Reb, 9 Ast, 3 Stl

    C.J. Watson ties game late, Bulls pull away from Heat in OT

    ESPN.com news services

    CHICAGO -- Had he known he was going to play so poorly, Derrick Rose might have sat this one out. Good thing for him, his Chicago teammates picked up the slack.

    C.J. Watson scored 16 points, including the game-tying 3-pointer at the end of regulation, and the Chicago Bulls pulled away in overtime to beat the Miami Heat 96-86 on Thursday night.

    Carlos Boozer scored 19 points and Kyle Korver added 17 for the Bulls, who outscored Miami 12-2 in overtime to boost their lead in the Eastern Conference to four games.

    The Bulls were able to pull off the victory despite a horrible shooting night by Rose, who scored a career-low two points on 1 of 13 shooting.

    "I'm fine, man," Rose said of coach Tom Thibodeau's decision to sit him down the stretch. "Anything to win. Where he felt that lineup was going to win the game, it won the game, and I can't complain about anything."

    Thibodeau decided to ride the hot hand of Watson, who scored 16 points along with nine assists and hit a three-pointer with 2.2 seconds remaining to tie the game at 84-84 and send it to overtime.

    Thibodeau admitted it was a little strange benching the reigning MVP.

    "It's a great question," Thibodeau said of sitting Rose. "Big picture, in terms of, if this were his first or second year, maybe you would be more concerned with that. But where Derrick is now as a player, he knows, he understands the situation. He's coming off an injury, he's a very confident guy. He'll get up to speed very quickly. The thing that you love about him, he was so happy we won, and so happy for his teammates, and that's who Derrick is."

    LeBron James scored 30 points for Miami but missed a free throw that would have made it a two-possession game late in regulation. Dwyane Wade added 21 points, Chris Bosh scored 20, but the Heat lost for the sixth time in 11 games.

    "This is one of the worst feelings in the regular season I've had this year," James said.

    Things were looking good for Miami when James nailed a 3 that made it 83-81 with 49 seconds left in regulation. But with a chance to seal the game, he missed the first of two free throws with 11.4 seconds remaining.

    Deng started the extra period with a jumper. Taj Gibson dunked on Ronny Turiaf for a three-point play and scored on a neat spin move after Wade hit a free throw, making it 91-85, sending the Bulls to a dramatic win on a night when their superstar had perhaps his worst game as a pro.

    "I'm not worried about my stats or anything," Rose said. "Can I make up excuses? Yeah. But you know me, I'm not going to use no excuse. My shots weren't falling. Shots I normally hit, I wasn't hitting. My teammates had my back. I'm happy I have them on my team."

    Rose returned from a 12-game absence because of a groin injury for Sunday's overtime loss at New York, only to sprain his right ankle. He did not play Tuesday, when the Bulls beat the Knicks at home, and he's missed 23 games in all this season.

    "He's going to be a little rusty," Korver said. "I don't care who you are, you're going to be a little rusty."

    But even with Rose struggling, the Bulls managed to pull this one out.

    Luol Deng scored 16. Boozer grabbed 11 rebounds and fed Watson for that tying 3. Korver came up big again, hitting 5 of 6 from beyond the arc after scoring 14 on Tuesday.

    He let out a big smile after nailing one in the extra period and helped the Bulls and helped send this one into overtime with eight points in the fourth quarter.

    His 3-pointer and jumper put Chicago ahead 78-74 with about 3:30 left, and after Wade scored, Boozer nailed a jumper and Ronnie Brewer hit a free throw to put the Bulls' lead at 5.

    Wade, however, kept Miami in it.

    He scored on a drive and a jumper to make it a one-point game, and Bosh came up with a key rebound off a miss by Wade, feeding James for the 3 that made it 83-81. But things unraveled for the Heat, particularly when Watson hit the 3 to force OT.

    "I looked up and saw C.J. wide open when Boozer caught it," Wade said. "I didn't know what was going on. I tried to get over there and make a play on it. He still made a tough shot. That play hurt. We never recovered back from that shot."

    Game notes


    Wade tied Alonzo Mourning's franchise record for games played at 593. ... Heat coach Erik Spoelstra made a late switch and decided to have Udonis Haslem, battling stomach flu, start at center instead of Turiaf. ... The Bulls and Heat meet one more time at Miami on April 19.

    Information from ESPNChicago's Nick Friedell and The Associated Press was used in this report.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    MIA
    CHI
    Points 86 96
    FGM-FGA 36-82 (.439) 37-86 (.430)
    3PM-3PA 4-11 (.364) 11-22 (.500)
    FTM-FTA 10-16 (.625) 11-19 (.579)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-41 15-45
    Assists 17 26
    Turnovers 19 16
    Steals 10 11
    Blocks 8 3
    Fast Break Points 9 12
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 15 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 10 10

    Top Performers

    Miami
    Chicago
    LeBron James James
    Points: 30
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1
    C.J. Watson Watson
    Points: 16
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 9
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0

    Research Notes

    From Elias: Last season's MVP award winner, Derrick Rose, finished Thursday's game against the Heat with a career-low 2 points. According to Elias, that's tied for the 4th fewest points in a single game by a reigning MVP (minimum of 20 minutes). The NBA MVP award dates back to 1955-56.
      [+]
    With Derrick Rose struggling, C.J. Watson came up huge... While Chicago was outscored 27 points with Derrick Rose on the floor, they were plus-38 with Watson on the floor. Watson played 14 minutes in the 4th quarter and OT compared to just 3 for Rose.
      [+]
    Derrick Rose's first points of the game came at the 7:01 mark of the 3rd quarter when he hit a 20-foot jumper. It's the latest into a game this season before he scored his first point.

    ESPN Stats & Information