MIAMI (AP)—Michael Beasley pulled a shirt over his head, which was the only way he could obstruct the postgame grin splashed across his face.
“I’m extra happy right now,” Beasley said.
Dwyane Wade scored 28 points, Daequan Cook hit three big 3-pointers in the fourth quarter as Miami pulled away, and the Heat eclipsed last season’s win total by dominating the second half and beating the Bulls 90-77 on Friday.
Mario Chalmers had 16 points and six assists while Beasley—the No. 2 pick in this year’s draft, after the Bulls chose Derrick Rose—scored eight of his 14 in the fourth for Miami (16-12), which won its fourth straight and surpassed the dismal 15-67 mark of a season ago.
“I thought it was a Miami-Heat-basketball-type win there in the fourth quarter,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “It’s something we’ve been trying to build.”
Including the first-round sweep in the 2007 playoffs, the Bulls had won nine of their last 11 games entering Friday against the Heat, and averaged nearly 105 points in those wins.
They didn’t get anywhere near that Friday, falling for the 13th time in 16 road games. It was Chicago’s second-lowest scoring and third-worst shooting effort of the year
“It was a close game and then it just got a way,” Gordon said. “We never made plays down to the end. We didn’t play winning basketball and that’s what happens when you play like that in critical moments of the game.”
These teams don’t meet again until Feb. 12. By then, the critical moment of this game may be remembered as the one with 30.9 seconds remaining.
With a 13-point lead, Spoelstra called a 20-second time-out to get Chalmers, Wade and Udonis Haslem out of the game. Some Bulls players and coaches were livid, and were still steaming afterward.
“That is something only done to disrespect the opponent,” said Bulls forward Andres Nocioni, who has some history with the Heat—he delivered hard fouls against Wade in the 2005 season and 2006 playoffs, and drilled Beasley on a fourth-quarter hit that Miami’s bench argued was worthy of a flagrant foul.
Said Chicago coach Vinny Del Negro: “We’ll play them again.”
Spoelstra defended the move afterward, denying there was anything untoward about the decision.
“I don’t why they’re all fired up,” Spoelstra said. “I wanted to get our guys out … just in case something crazy would happen.”
It was close until the fourth, when Cook gave Miami a four-point lead by hitting a 3-pointer, then added two more in the next three minutes—the last of which put the Heat up 81-73 with 5:48 left.
That was more than enough, since the Bulls missed 13 of their final 17 shots.
“They were giving me my jump shot,” Rose said. “I just couldn’t hit them.”
Udonis Haslem tied a season-high with 14 rebounds, while Cook scored 12 points for the Heat. Aaron Gray had 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Bulls.
Chicago lost forward Luol Deng to a sprained left ankle with 7:52 left in the third quarter. He landed awkwardly, tumbled to the floor and grabbed the area just below his left knee. He was eventually helped off, while putting no weight on that leg, and immediately hobbled into the Bulls’ locker room.
The Bulls led 45-40 after a sluggish first half for both teams, who combined to shoot 37-for-94 (.394) in the game’s first 24 minutes.
And if anyone wanted to see a Rose-Beasley shootout, it was evident early that one simply wasn’t going to happen.
Rose missed his first five shots and was just 3-for-12 in the half. Beasley was 2-for-5 in the opening two quarters and spent more time in the locker room getting a bloodied arm tended to—he got scratched during play—than actually on the floor.
Chalmers and Wade combined for 18 of Miami’s 24 points in the third, a period where the Heat fell behind 49-42 early before outscoring Chicago by 20 the rest of the way.
“There was a lot of reasons why we wanted to win this game,” Wade said. “Rivalry or not, it was an important game for us to get.”
Del Negro drew a technical foul for arguing a call against Rose with 1:29 left in the half—and got the call overturned. Rose was called for charging into Haslem, a whistle overturned when it was determined that Haslem was in the restricted area, but Mark Ayotte got Del Negro for the technical anyway. … Chicago only had three fouls in the first half, matching the lowest-ever in a half for a Miami opponent.