Carlos Boozer turned his shoulder and knocked Dwyane Wade to the floor, while Nate Robinson shoved LeBron James as the NBA’s reigning MVP leaped near the basket.
All in the same sequence, no less.
It was physical, rugged and exactly what the Miami Heat needed as part of their preparations for the playoffs, which start this coming weekend. James scored 24 points, Wade finished with 22 and the Heat set a franchise record for home wins in a season by topping the Chicago Bulls 105-93 on Sunday.
”It was good, especially against this team,” said James, who had seven rebounds and six assists. ”You’re definitely not just going to show up and win against these guys. You’re going to have to work for it. So for us, to continue to get better and for us to have a really physical game, good game, testy game, we liked it.”
Chicago had more fouls (30) than field goals (29), the first time the Bulls have managed that in a regular-season game since Nov. 19, 2008.
The Bulls sent Miami to the line a season-high 41 times, and at times were so reliant on the 3-point shot that they went more than 16 minutes to open the second half without a single 2-point basket.
”We’re trying to get ready,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. ”And you play a team that’s physical like this, it gets you ready.”
– Reported by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press