Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - C.J. Watson played the part of Derrick Rose.
Taj Gibson took over for Joakim Noah. And Omer Asik stood in for Carlos
It may have been different players, but the Bulls bench looked like stars in
overtime, dominating Miami in a 96-86 victory at the United Center.
With Rose showing rust and in the midst of a 1-of-13 shooting night, the Bulls
turned to Watson, who drained the game-tying three at the end of regulation as
part of a 16-point, eight-assist stat line. Then it was Gibson who was called
on to guard the more athletic Chris Bosh, and he responded by frustrating the
Miami forward and contributing 11 points and five rebounds of his own before
fouling out. Asik was the interior defensive stalwart with eight rebounds and
two blocks, while Kyle Korver scored 17 points, including five threes, in the
Bulls' second straight win.
The comeback and overtime domination happened with Rose on the bench. The
guard had missed 12 straight games before returning in Sunday's loss to New
York. He sat out Tuesday's victory over the Knicks, and looked out of sync
LeBron James led all scorers with 30 points, six rebounds and five assists,
while Dwyane Wade added 21 points and Bosh chipped in with 20 for the Miami,
which has dropped two in a row. The Heat bench was outscored, 47-7, while
Chicago's bench also grabbed 21 rebounds and dished out 13 assists.
Overtime was a house of horrors and frustration for the Heat, who were swarmed
by the Bulls' bench in the extra session. Just Luol Deng played solid overtime
minutes out of Chicago's starters, instead the Bulls relied on Watson, Korver,
Asik and Gibson, who converted a three-point play for an 89-84 lead, then
converted a reverse lay-in for a 91-85 edge with 2:10 to go. Watson's rainbow
jumper moments later made it an eight-point game, and the Heat couldn't
overcome the deficit.
The Sports Network