MIAMI (AP) — Joe Johnson’s home debut in Miami was part of the best shooting effort in Heat history.
And he’s on his first winning streak in nearly three months.
The Heat set a franchise record by shooting 67.5 percent from the floor, established a season high for points and beat the Chicago Bulls, 129-111, on Tuesday night. Hassan Whiteside scored a career-high 26 points and had 14 rebounds for the Heat, while Johnson scored 24 points in the first time he had played in back-to-back wins since Dec. 8-10 with Brooklyn.
No team had shot better in an NBA game this season than the 61.8 percent posted by San Antonio against Philadelphia on Dec. 7. The Heat topped that easily, with Deng, Whiteside and Johnson combining to shoot 26 for 34.
Chicago was within 108-102 with 5:14 left, before Miami finished on a 21-9 run. Wade set up Whiteside with an alley-oop lob with 2:53 left that pushed the lead back to 121-106 after a free throw, and the only question left was how many records Miami would set.
Derrick Rose returned from a three-game absence because of injury and scored 17 points for Chicago, which lost for the 17th time in 25 games and fell to the No. 9 spot in the Eastern Conference race. Pau Gasol had 15 points, nine rebounds and six assists, and Taj Gibson added 13 points for Chicago — but left in the third quarter with a right hamstring injury.
The Heat improved to 5-2 in seven games since Chris Bosh became inactive because of a blood clot in his leg. Neither Bosh nor the team has offered any specifics or updates on his condition.
Bulls: Aaron Brooks scored 16 points. … The change in Chicago’s defensive numbers are staggering. The Bulls allowed 99.7 points on 41.6 percent shooting in their first 34 games, and in 25 games since have given up more than 106 points on 46 percent shooting. … Rose played 24 minutes, with the Bulls going in saying they would be cautious in his return game.
Heat: Johnson passed Reggie Theus for 50th on the NBA’s career scoring list with his seventh point Tuesday. … Deng, who was with the Bulls for 10 seasons, had warm embraces for several Chicago staffers at halftime. … The Heat paid tribute to longtime team broadcasters Eric Reid and Jose Paneda to commemorate their 2,000-games-called milestones. Reid and Paneda have been with the franchise since its inaugural season.
Whiteside has nine double-doubles in 11 games off the bench for the Heat, while generally playing starters’ minutes. Whiteside has double-doubles in each of his last six games, something no Heat reserve had ever done.
Golfer Matt Kuchar — in town for this week’s World Golf Championship at Doral — made a pair of chips from midcourt during a timeout, earning $10,000 for charity. Also courtside were a pair of retired professional hitters, baseball’s Mike Lowell and boxing’s Floyd Mayweather Jr. Miami clothier Kenny Sager was in the crowd as well, his birthday celebration marked by Heat mascot Burnie covering him with silly string.
Bulls: Visit Orlando on Wednesday.
Heat: Host Phoenix on Thursday.
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