Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 3)

Series starts 1/18

Game 1: Saturday, January 18th
Game 2: Saturday, February 22nd
Game 3: Wednesday, March 26th

Heat 74

(22-50, 8-28 away)

Bulls 82

(26-46, 23-12 home)

    7:30 PM ET, March 26, 2003

    United Center, Chicago, IL

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIA 18 23 18 1574
    CHI 29 24 17 1282

    Top Performers

    Miami: C. Butler 16 Pts, 4 Reb, 3 Ast, 3 Stl

    Chicago: T. Chandler 7 Pts, 16 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 Blk

    Chicago earns fourth straight win at home

    CHICAGO (AP) -- Bulls coach Bill Cartwright has seen what his youngsters are capable of. Now he'd like to see it more often.

    Eddie Curry and Tyson Chandler combined for 19 points and 23 rebounds, and third-year guard Jamal Crawford scored 17 points for Chicago in an 82-74 win over Miami on Wednesday night.

    It was Chicago's fourth straight win at home.

    "I think right now we are at a point in the season where we should expect certain things from certain guys," Cartwright said. "We have grown through a whole season where we can say, 'Eddy we expect a lot from you. Tyson we expect consistent performances out of you. Jamal, we expect you not to turn the ball over.'"

    Cartwright got all three against Miami.

    Curry has averaged 15 points and six rebounds since the All-Star break, while Chandler's averaging 13 points and 10 rebounds.

    Before the game, Pat Riley likened the pair to a budding Robert Parish and Kevin McHale. They may have a ways to go before reaching that level, but the compliment did bring a smile to Chandler and Curry's faces after the game.

    "Any time a coach compares you to a Hall of Famer, that's the highest compliment you can get," Chandler said.

    Chicago led 78-61 before Miami scored six straight to cut the deficit to 11. By then Cartwright had seen enough, calling starters Crawford and Rose off the bench and back into the game.

    A pair of free throws by Sean Lampley made it 78-69, but Rose made a long jumper and later hit a pair of free throws to extend the lead back to double digits.

    Rose had 19 points for the Bulls.

    "It wasn't pretty," Rose said. "We are focusing on improving and doing what we need to do on a daily basis to take something into next season."

    Crawford, inserted into the starting lineup 10 games ago in place of struggling rookie Jay Williams, had 17 points.

    The Bulls took a 61-42 lead with 7:32 to go in the third quarter on a jump hook by Curry, capping a 10-1 run. The only point Miami scored during the run came when Rose was called for a technical foul.

    Rose, who was knocked to the ground while attempting a layup, got up off the floor and intentionally bumped into Rasual Butler. The two players jawed briefly before being separated by teammates.

    Caron Butler had 16 points and Eddie House added 15 for Miami, which shot only 30 percent from the field. This was Miami's sixth game in the last nine days and its second straight on the road.

    "Well, we just can't shoot (30 percent) and expect to be close," coach Pat Riley said. "I guess that's just where we are now. I thought we were very fatigued in the first half."

    Miami is 2-11 since leading scorer Eddie Jones was placed on the injured list. Jones, averaging 18.5 points a game, sprained his right ankle in practice on March 3 and hasn't played since.

    Crawford has excelled since being named a starter, averaging 18 points over his last five games.

    Against Miami, even Crawford's miscues turned out well.

    With the Bulls leading 43-29, Crawford threw a pass inside that was deflected by a Miami defender, bounced off the top corner of the backboard and caromed into the hands of a startled Rose, who hit a 20-foot jumper to give Chicago a 16-point lead.

    Game notes
    The Bulls are 23-12 at home. ... Chicago avoided being swept by Miami for the first time in franchise history. The Heat won the two previous meetings this season. ... Rose averaged 30.5 points in the two losses to Miami ... Chicago needs one win in its final six home games to equal the total (22) of the previous two seasons combined ... Miami announced forward Sean Marks will miss the remainder season with a torn ligament in his left elbow. He was placed on the injured list March 10.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 74 82
    FGM-FGA 23-78 (.295) 31-70 (.443)
    3PM-3PA 3-9 (.333) 2-8 (.250)
    FTM-FTA 25-29 (.862) 18-28 (.643)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-43 8-46
    Assists 18 18
    Turnovers 14 17
    Steals 11 5
    Blocks 1 13
    Fast Break Points 2 1
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (2/0) 25 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Caron Butler Butler
    Points: 16
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0
    Tyson Chandler Chandler
    Points: 7
    Reb: 16
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 2