Wade who shot 59 percent in his last five games and averaged 34.4 points, shot 1-for-8 from the field and had 10 turnovers, but was 13-for-13 from the free throw line. Wade and Shaquille O’Neal had to battle through foul problems the entire game.
O’Neal finished with 13 points and five rebounds and Jason Williams added 12 points for Miami.
Trailing 81-77 with 4:59 left, Wade hit four three throws in a row to get the Heat within 82-81 with 3:59 left. After Andres Nocioni made 1-of-2 on the line, James Posey hit a 3 to give the Heat 84-83 lead with 2:59 left.
Michael Sweetney made 1-of-2 on the line to tie the game at 84, but after an over the back foul on Nocioni, Payton hit 1-of-2 free throws to give the Heat the decisive lead at 85-84 with 2:17 left.
The Bulls had several chances to take the lead. Sweetney missed a short jumper with 46 seconds left and Luol Deng’s base line jumper to win the game rimmed out as time expired.
Deng finished with 19 points and Kirk Hinrich had 15 points and seven assists for Chicago.
Trailing 77-71, Chicago scored 10 straight points. Hinrich hit a 3 to start the run and then after Wade picked up his fifth foul with 7:03 left in the game, Deng made a driving layup over O’Neal. Hinrich hit his second 3 in the span to give Chicago a 81-77 lead with 4:59 left.
Wade stayed in game despite picking up his fifth foul and O’Neal picked up his fifth foul with 3:49 left and stayed in the game.
O’Neal and Wade struggled with foul problems all game. But as soon as O’Neal returned to start the fourth quarter the Heat went right to O’Neal. He first scored on an inbounds play, then after making 1-of-2 from the line, Walker found O’Neal for a thunderous alley-oop dunk that O’Neal put down with one hand to give the Heat a 74-68 lead. After Duhon’s 3 for Chicago, Walker answered with another 3, giving Miami a 77-71 lead.
O’Neal picked up his fourth foul with 8:00 left in the third quarter and Wade was called for his fourth foul two minutes later.
Wade and O’Neal had only one field goal between them in the half. Wade was 0-for-2 in the half and O’Neal was 1-for-4.
The Heat made eight of their first 11 field goal attempts to take a 21-14 lead midway in the first quarter, but cooled off, going 5-for-22 the rest of the first half. The Heat led 48-47 at the half. Payton led the Heat with nine points in the half.
Deng and Nocioni both scored 11 points for Chicago in the first half.
Before the game, The Bulls remembered Ray Meyer with a moment of silence. Meyer, who died at 92 on Friday. He coached 42 years at DePaul, a few miles from the Bulls’ arena. … The Bulls wore green uniforms in honor of a belated St. Patrick’s Day. … Wade was issued a technical for mocking official Mark Wunderlich’s foul call against Wade in the second quarter. O’Neal was called for a flagrant foul in the second quarter. Both Wade and O’Neal had three fouls in the first half. … Malik Allen finished with 12 points and Nocioni had 14 points and 12 rebounds for Chicago. … The Heat shot 38 free throws to the Bulls’ 17 attempts. Chicago was just 9-for-17 from the line.
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