MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – The Chicago Bulls went on a 39-8 run to start the second half – easily wiping out a 19-point halftime deficit – as they beat the Miami 89-78 on Thursday night, dealing a huge blow to the Heat’s playoff hopes.
Pau Gasol had 16 points and 15 rebounds. Aaron Brooks and Taj Gibson each scored 14 points for the Bulls, who were outscored 33-12 in the second quarter.
But Miami fell apart in the third as they missed its first 12 shots, and the freefall never stopped.
Mike Dunleavy and Derrick Rose each had 12 for Chicago, which moved back into the No. 3 spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
Hassan Whiteside had 19 points and 16 rebounds for the Heat. Dwyane Wade scored nine points, shooting just 4 for 20. The Heat were outscored 57-27 after halftime.
Goran Dragic had 15 points for Miami and Michael Beasley scored 13.
By the time the second half was 10 minutes old, Miami’s huge lead – built during a brilliant second quarter in which it held the Bulls to 3-for-24 shooting – was gone, and gone for good.
The Bulls scored the first 11 points of the second half, then went on a 24-3 run over another 7-minute stretch bridging the third and fourth quarters.
By then, the game was gone. So, perhaps, is the season. Miami remained in the No. 10 spot in the Eastern Conference race with three games left, but now almost certainly needs to win out and get plenty of help to get back to the postseason.
The comeback was such that Rose’s second game of his latest comeback tour almost seemed irrelevant.
Rose made three field goals in the entirety of Wednesday’s game at Orlando; he matched that in a 68-second span of the first quarter Thursday, with a step-back, followed by a dunk and a pullup jumper.
Those were about the extent of his highlights on Thursday, as he finished 5 for 15 from the field in just over 20 minutes.
Then again, the Bulls didn’t seem to need him.
Bulls: Gasol took 11 shots in the first quarter, the sixth time this season he’s reached double digits in that category in the opening 12 minutes. … Rose has faced Miami 21 times, and made more than half his shots in any of those games only twice. … With three games left, Chicago still has a shot at 50 wins for just the third time in the post-Michael Jordan era.
Heat: It was the second-largest blown lead for the Heat this season, topped only by the 23-pointer against Philadelphia on Dec. 23. … Dragic appeared in his 500th regular-season game. … Wade sought out Rose for a hug just before tip-off.
Gasol got his league-best 51st double-double of the season, extending his career high in that department. At 34, he’s on pace to become the NBA’s oldest leader in double-doubles since Patrick Ewing did so (also at 34) in the 1996-97 season.
1 AND 2 REUNITED
Forever linked by the 2008 draft when they went No. 1 and No. 2, Thursday marked the 10th time – but first in more than four years – that Rose and Beasley appeared in the same game. The last such occurrence was March 30, 2011, when Chicago visited Minnesota.
Bulls: Host Philadelphia on Saturday.
Heat: Host Toronto on Saturday.
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