This one hurt.
You could see it on LeBron James' face. He was fighting back his emotions, pausing to collect himself before speaking, after Thursday night's 96-86 loss the Bulls at United Center.
“I hurts,” James said. “As a team, we felt like we played well. We gave ourselves a chance to win...but they pretty much dominated the overtime.”
The Bulls outscored the Heat 12-2 in the extra period. James said the Heat was spent emotionally after C.J. Watson drained a difficult three-pointer to tie the game with 2.2 seconds left. It appeared that either LeBron or Shane Battier left Watson alone. Both players were helping triple-team Kyle Korver, who was 5 of 6 from three-point range for the game.
The Heat's Big 3 scored 71 points (30 from James; 21 from Wade; 20 from Bosh) but Miami didn't have the depth to contend for the Bulls' bench. Chicago's reserves outscored the Heat's 47-7.
The Heat is 13-10 since the All-Star break and 1-8 on the road since then against teams in the playoff hunt. The game's wild finish overshadowed a bold move by Heat coach Erik Spoelstra to once again overhaul his rotation. Udonis Haslem started the game at center and the Heat shortened its bench. Norris Cole, Terrel Harris and James Jones--regulars in recent games--did not play. Joel Anthony played less than seven minutes.
The Heat committed 19 turnovers compared to 16 by the Bulls.
Derrick Rose was 1 of 13 from the field and finished with just two points. The reinging MVP, slowed by an ankle injury, didn't even play in the overtime period. John Lucas was the reserve guard who beat the Heat in Miami's first loss to the Bulls. This time it was Watson's 16 points off the bench that the Heat was unable to match. Mario Chalmers had four points on 2 of 7 shooting.