Outstanding play on both ends of the floor by LeBron James and smothering team defense were the keys as the Miami Heat rolled to an 86-67 road win over the Chicago Bulls.
James notched a double-double with 26 points and 12 rebounds and also dished out seven assists in Thursday night's game at the United Center to lead the Heat to their ninth straight victory.
His defense also played a big role in limiting Chicago to an inefficient 37 percent shooting from the field and 20 percent from 3-point range.
The Heat took control of the game midway through the first half, holding the Bulls to just 13 points in the second quarter en route to a 45-35 lead at the intermission.
Miami also allowed the Bulls just 13 points in the fourth quarter as well, sapping all the drama out of the contest.
Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade made a solid contribution with 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists, although he also committed a game-high five turnovers.
Center Chris Bosh and reserve guard Ray Allen were the other Heat players in double figures, scoring 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Guard Nate Robinson scored 14 points, power forward Carlos Boozer added 12 points and 11 rebounds and center Joakim Noah scored 11 points, grabbed eight boards and handed out eight assists for the Bulls, who have lost six of the nine games they have played in February.
On the strength of their recent winning streak, the Heat's record now stands at 38-14, second best in the NBA behind the San Antonio Spurs.
The Bulls, whose record fell to 31-23, are currently in fifth place in the Eastern Conference.
In one other NBA game Thursday night, point guard Tony Parker scored 31 points and dished out seven assists to lead the Spurs to a 116-90 rout of the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center.
Parker badly outplayed Clippers counterpart Chris Paul, who had a night to forget with just four points and three assists in 27 minutes of action. EFE