Published February 22, 2013
| Sports Network
Chicago, IL – LeBron James was three assists shy of a triple- double and the Miami Heat continued their season-best winning streak by humbling the Chicago Bulls, 86-67, at United Center.
James finished with 26 points and 12 rebounds, while Dwyane Wade added 17 and eight for the Heat, who rolled to their ninth straight win with relative ease.
Miami shot 51 percent from the field against one of the league's best defenses and forced 27 turnovers in holding the Bulls to their lowest point total this season.
Kirk Hinrich, Chicago's starting point guard with Derrick Rose still rehabbing his surgically repaired knee, returned from a seven-game absence in Tuesday's win over the Hornets, but his sore right elbow kept him out Thursday.
Nate Robinson got the starting nod and had a team-high 14 points, while Carlos Boozer checked in with 12 points and 11 rebounds in the setback.
"We just had too many turnovers," Boozer said. "We made some poor decisions. It's tough to win a game against a good team when you don't get shots."
The Bulls had more turnovers in the first half (17) than their season average (14.7) coming in. They gave the ball away five times during a game-altering 13-0 run in the second quarter that pushed Miami ahead, 39-28, and the Heat stayed in front by at least seven points the rest of the way.
Wade's dunk prior to the halftime buzzer gave Miami a 45-35 lead, and it was a 65-54 game after a lackluster third quarter from both sides.
Frustrated by the lack of energy, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau sat his two All-Stars -- Joakim Noah and Luol Deng -- after Wade went in for a layup and a 70-56 lead less than two minutes into the fourth.
The difference peaked at 20 points, and Miami cruised to its first win in Chicago in five tries.
"It wasn't a clean game but...at an elite level when you play good basketball teams on their home court, you have to find different ways to win sometimes," Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said.
The Bulls, who won in Miami on Jan. 4, fell to 15-13 at home ... Chicago shot 37 percent from the field ... Noah finished with 11 points, eight boards and eight assists, while Deng netted just six points on 3-of-12 shooting ... Chris Bosh chipped in 12 points for Miami ... The Heat had scored at least 100 points in their previous six games ... The Heat made a minor trade prior to Thursday's deadline as they sent center Dexter Pittman, a second-round pick in the 2013 draft and cash considerations to the Memphis Grizzlies for the rights to center Ricky Sanchez.