Joakim Noah registered his fourth double-double this season, scoring 17 points and registering 15 rebounds, to help the Chicago Bulls cruise past the Miami Heat, 107-87. The Bulls took quality shots in this one, going 37-74 (50.0%) from the field, including 10-19 (52.6%) from three-point range. Chicago (8-9) picked up the win after falling to New Orleans Pelicans on Monday.
Noah shot 6-9 from the field and 5-6 from the free throw line, in a strong performance. Other key players for Chicago included Carlos Boozer with 27 points and 9 rebounds, Luol Deng with 20 points and 5 rebounds, and Taj Gibson with 19 points and 6 rebounds. Despite the loss, LeBron James scored 21 points for Miami on 7-17 shooting (1-4 on 3-point attempts), in addition to going 6-8 from the free throw line. Michael Beasley chipped in 15 points and 7 rebounds and Norris Cole finished with 12 points and 6 assists.
The high-powered Heat offense did not do as well as expected, struggling to score against a bottom-tier Bulls defense that ranks just 27th in the league with a defensive efficiency of 128.7. Despite an off game where they tallied .953 points per possession, Miami ranks second in the NBA with an offensive efficiency of 107.8. Along with their eFG% of 56.8%, the Bulls connected at a rate of 52.6% from 3-point range. On the season, they are undefeated (2-0) when they record marks above 55% and 40% in those respective categories. Conversely, the Heat are 1-3 when allowing their opponents to reach those percentages.
This drops Miami (14-5) to 1-1 against Chicago on the year.
Coming up next, the Bulls square off against the Detroit Pistons, who are 9-10 on the year. The Heat meet the Minnesota Timberwolves, currently 9-10 this season. The Bulls have a 1-0 record against Detroit this season.
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