The Miami Heat won their ninth consecutive game after beating the Chicago Bulls 86-67 in front of a disappointed home crowd at the United Center.
The Bulls struggled severely on the offensive end of the floor, hitting just 37.3 percent of their field goals while Miami shot 50.7 percent of its field goals.
Nate Robinson led all Chicago scorers with 14 points. Carlos Boozer had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds, and Joakim Noah filled up the stat sheet with 11 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
But there were few other positives for the Bulls. Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Ray Allen all scored in double figures for Miami, while LeBron James continued to make his case for the 2012-13 MVP award.
James finished with 26 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists while making sure the Heat were never in danger of losing this game.
Player of the Game: LeBron James
Were you expecting anyone else? James earned his 26 points by going 11-of-15 from the floor.
His efficiency on the offensive end of the floor this season has been truly remarkable. He has made 56.5 percent of his shots this year, and there has only been one game in which his field-goal percentage was below 40.
In tonight’s game, there was LeBron James, and everyone else was a step behind. The same breakdown currently applies to the MVP race.
What’s Next for the Miami Heat?
The Heat maintained their lead atop the Eastern Conference and improved to 38-14 on the year. The team will continue its road trip and take on the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday.
What’s Next for the Chicago Bulls?
Chicago dropped to 31-23 and is still holding on to the fifth seed in the East. The Bulls will now travel to face the Charlotte Bobcats tomorrow.