CHICAGO (AP) — Goran Dragic scored a season-high 26 points, Josh Richardson added a career-high 22 and the Miami Heat used a big fourth quarter to beat the short-handed Chicago Bulls, 118-96, on Friday night.
Luol Deng scored 19 points for the Heat, who outscored the Bulls 34-15 in the final period on the way to their sixth win in seven games.
Pau Gasol led Chicago with 17 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists. Justin Holiday scored a season-high 14 points, but the Bulls came up short on a night guards Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler sat with injuries.
Chicago lost its second straight and missed a chance to move into the final Eastern Conference playoff spot after Detroit lost at Charlotte.
The Heat, who snapped a five-game winning streak Wednesday at Milwaukee, trailed 58-54 at halftime against the Bulls. However, Dragic scored the first three points of a 6-0 run late in third quarter to give Miami the lead for good.
Richardson’s buzzer-beating layup gave the Heat an 84-81 edge at the end of the third and Miami turned the game into a rout by outscoring Chicago 17-6 in the first six minutes of the final period.
Former Bull Deng scored 10 of his 19 points in the fourth. Dwayne Wade, playing with a bruised right thigh, scored nine points but was just 3 for 15 from the field.
Joe Johnson finished with 15 points and Hasan Whiteside added 13 points and 16 rebounds for the Heat.
Heat: Wade suited up against the Bulls after he was hurt in Wednesday’s loss at Milwaukee. … Miami, which improved to 3-0 in the season series with the Bulls, has won three straight at the United Center.
Bulls: Gasol narrowly missed his third triple-double of the season and 10th of his career. His first two this season came Feb. 27 against Portland and March 7 against Milwaukee. … Holiday, acquired from Atlanta in a Feb. 18 trade, made his first start with Chicago and the sixth of his career.
Miami: At Toronto on Saturday.
Chicago: At Toronto on Monday.
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