Apr 5, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls point guard C.J. Watson (7) runs with the ball beside head coach Tom Thibodeau during the second half against the Boston Celtics at the United Center. The Bulls won 93-86. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE

Bulls Clinch 9th Division Title, Crush Heat in Overtime 96-86.

Bulls 96, Heat 86 –FINAL

MAGIC NUMBER TO CLINCH HOME COURT:

5

MAGIC NUMBER TO CLINCH DIVISION:

CLINCHED

The first two meetings came down to the wire and Thursday night’s meeting was no exception. But Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver and C.J. Watson all contributed to a massive win for the Bulls, who essentially won for the second straight time against the Heat without the services of Derrick Rose.

Rose started after missing his 23rd game of the season on Tuesday, but he scored just two points the whole game. Rose played 25 minutes as well but hit only one of his thirteen shots on the night.

Thankfully, someone stepped up like John Lucas III did in the last meeting. This time it was C.J. Watson’s chance to prove his worth and he did that more then anyone could have predicted.

Late in the game, the Bulls found themselves in a violent back and forth with the Heat with Miami going up by 3 with 0:11 seconds left in the game. After LeBron James hit a free throw, but missed his second to make it a three point Miami lead, the Bulls inbounded the ball, passed it around and drew the Heat defense away from Watson who became wide open on the corner of the perimeter.

Watson let go a bomb that dropped with 2.2 seconds left tying the game and sending it into overtime.

“I looked up and saw C.J. wide open when Boozer caught it,” Dwyane Wade said. “I didn’t know what was going on. I tried to get over there and make a play on it. He still made a tough shot. That play hurt. We never recovered back from that shot.”

In overtime, the Bulls fed off the electricity pulsing through the United Center after Watson’s three to end regulation and outscored the Heat 11-2.

Watson and Taj Gibson helped lead the way in overtime making both offensive and defensive plays the stifled the Heat.

The Bulls showed that they have one thing the Heat don’t depth beyond their stars. Miami’s Big 3 scored 70 of the Heat’s final 85 points but beyond them the rest of the cast scored just 15 points. The lack of depth and the lack of any real talent beyond James, Bosh and Wade may prove to be a weakness that not only Chicago can exploit in the payoffs.

Chicago’s bench on the other hand scored 42 of Chicago’s final total of 93 points with C.J. Watson leading the way. Watson, who is the voice of the Bench Mob, was a plus-38 tonight.

The biggest part about the win was that it came without Rose who didn’t step foot on the court in the overtime period. All three of the Heat’s Big 3 were not he court the entire time and failed to anything against the Bench Mob.

But the fight isn’t over. The Bulls now own a 4 game lead on the Heat in the East and are a game away from owning the tie breaker. That won’t be decided until next Thursday but the Bulls could realistically win the conference before then. They already have the division won, winning that by winning tonight.

And they did it without Rose. It was said that the Bulls couldn’t wrap up the East without Rose in the lineup yet the only game he played in during the last 14 game the Bulls ended up losing it. He sat out the last two including tonight and the Bulls now have the Central Division wrapped up and are 5 games away from doing the same to the Eastern Conference.

DATE

OPPONENT

TIME

TV

4/15

@Pistons

5pm

 WGN

4/16

Vs. Wizards

6pm

CSN-C

 4/18

 @Bobcats

6pm

WCIU

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