Chicago Bulls guard C.J. Watson hit a game-tying three-pointer to force overtime and Chicago’s role players did the rest, closing out Miami 96-86. Watson finished with 16 points and 9 assists, while forward Carlos Boozer led the team with 19 points.
Rose looked extremely shaky in his return from a slew of injuries (most recently his ankle), finishing 1-13 from the field with eight assists and three turnovers in 25 minutes. The defense of 6-9 forward LeBron James didn’t help ease the MVP’s return either.
James scored 30 points in the Heat loss. No Miami player scored over four points outside of the “Big 3″, a complete 180 from the deep Chicago roster. Sharpshooter Kyle Korver played yet another huge game off the bench for the Bulls, finishing with 17 points in 18 minutes. He and Boozer had great rhythm on the pick-and-slip, leading to several open jumpers late in the ball game. Luol Deng added 16 points despite his ailing wrist, while also hounding James on defense throughout the game.
Chicago’s attention now turns to their leader in Rose, who will need to get his rhythm back in time for another playoff run. The Bulls have another marquee matchup against the rival Heat next week, but Rose should have time to shake off the cobwebs with games against the bottom-feeders of the Eastern Conference. The Bulls play the Detroit Pistons, Washington Wizards and Charlotte Bobcats before Thursday’s rematch with the Heat.
The Bulls pushed their lead over Miami for the No. 1 seed to four games, presumably locking up the top spot in the East with the victory.