CHICAGO (AP) -- Caron Butler is impressing people with his recent play.
Butler had 19 points and 14 rebounds and Eddie Jones scored 21 points in the Heat's 97-83 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night.
"Caron has been playing great. He's just found his way, found his role and I love the way he's been playing," Miami coach Stan Van Gundy said. "He is
actually in my opinion over the last 10 or 12 games playing better basketball than he did last year because he is doing it at both ends of the
Miami, a half-game behind Milwaukee for fourth place in the Eastern Conference, lost rookie guard Dwyane Wade to a ribcage injury late in the second
quarter, but Wade doesn't expect to miss any games.
Miami, which has won 10 of 12 games, took a 41-31 at the half on Butler's 3-pointer at the buzzer.
The Heat pulled away with a 14-2 run in the third quarter. Butler scored six points during the spree, and Jones hit a jumper with 4:20 left in the
quarter to give Miami a 62-39 lead.
"Tonight we didn't play as well offensively as we wanted to, but defensively we did a great job. Our defense really caused them to struggle," Jones
Lamar Odom added 11 points and 13 rebounds for Miami, and Rasual Butler added 12 points.
The Bulls shot just 34.5 percent and failed to win their third straight game -- they haven't won three in a row since December of 2002.
Eddy Curry had 20 points for the Bulls, and Jannero Pargo scored 17 points. Jamal Crawford was just 1-for-10 from the field for Chicago, scoring four
points in 19 minutes.
"They are definitely a physical team. I think they showed us a preview of how we need to play," Curry said. "It's tough to execute your sets against
somebody who's always into you and always bumping you."
Notes: Miami guard Rafer Alston hit a 3-pointer in the second quarter, extending his streak to 43 games with at least one 3-pointer. He finished with
10 points ... For the first time in franchise history, Miami swept the season series against the Bulls, going 4-0. ... Miami outrebounded Chicago
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