Heat Check: Heat overpowered in road loss to Bulls

The Miami’s lack of frontline presence played a big role in Detroit snapping the Heat’s 10-game winning streak Tuesday.

Two nights later, it led to a thumping in the Windy City.

Playing without Dwyane Wade and reserve forward Chris Andersen, the Heat trailed by as many as 25 points in the third quarter and lost 107-87 to the rival Bulls at the United Center.

Joakim Noah (17 points, 15 rebounds), Carlos Boozer (27 points, nine rebounds) and Taj Gibson (19 points, six rebounds) helped Chicago own the pain from the outset. LeBron James’ 21 points led the Heat.

Miami (14-5) shot 27.3 percent (6 of 22) from 3-point range and was outrebounded 49-27. The Bulls had 24 second-chance points and the Heat only six.

It was the Eastern Conference rivals’ second meeting, and this one had an entirely different storyline than in Miami’s 107-95 opening-night victory at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Wade missed his second straight game, but this time it wasn’t to rest his sore knees. The Chicago native sat out due to flu-like symptoms.

Ray Allen made his first start since joining Miami before last season by taking Wade’s place in the lineup.

Andersen, whose size and energy had been expected to help against the Bulls frontline, was not with the team for personal reasons. He was expected to rejoin the team in time for Saturday night’s game at Minnesota.

The absences likely got little sympathy from the Bulls, who were without guard Derrick Rose (knee), swingman Jimmy Butler (toe) and guard Mike James (knee).

The Bulls began the third quarter with 14-3 run and opened an 85-63 advantage after three quarters.

The Bulls went ahead by as many as 19 in the second quarter and led 58-44 at the half. Chicago outdid Miami in second-chance points (14-2) and points in the paint (24-14).

Chicago led 29-20 after the first quarter, in which the Heat were outrebounded 15-4 and allowed the bulls to shoot 61.1 percent (11 of 18) and score 12 points in the paint.

The turning point

The Bulls outrebounded Miami 27-9 en route to building a 14-point halftime lead. Once Chicago came out strong to open the third quarter with that 14-3 run, the verdict never really was in doubt.

The difference maker

The Bulls’ frontline of Noah, Boozer and reserve Gibson.

Stat of the game

Miami was outrebounded by Chicago 49-27. The Bulls had 13 offensive rebounds to the Heat’s six.

What’s next

The Heat continue their four-game road trip at Minnesota on Saturday at 8 p.m. Miami then visits Detroit on Sunday night and Indiana on Tuesday night.

Charlie McCarthy can be reached at mac1763@bellsouth.net or on Twitter @mccarthy_chas.