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