CHICAGO — Mike Dunleavy scored 22 points and Joakim Noah collected 19 points, 11 rebounds and five assists as the Chicago Bulls took both ends of a home-and-home set from the Boston Celtics, 94-80 in NBA action Monday night.
Jimmy Butler added 18 points and Carlos Boozer scored 16 for the Bulls, who pulled into a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference with the Toronto Raptors. Taj Gibson recorded 14 points and 11 rebounds and D.J. Augustin handed out 11 assists for Chicago.
Jerryd Bayless and Brandon Bass scored 18 points apiece for the Celtics, who have dropped five straight. Kris Humphries contributed 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting for Boston.
The Celtics were within a point at the start of the fourth quarter before the Bulls opened the final frame with a 13-0 run. Dunleavy buried a 3-pointer and Noah scored six points during the burst.
Butler’s jumper extended the lead to 88-72 with 6:30 left as Chicago coasted through the fourth quarter. Boston led by as much as nine points in the second quarter before settling for a 50-48 lead at the break and was up three before the Bulls used a 9-0 spurt to take the lead for good.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Augustin, who scored a career-high 33 points in the meeting in Boston on Sunday, was held to four points on 1-of-9 shooting. … Boston G Rajon Rondo (rest) sat out on the second night of the back-to-back and joined the Celtics TV broadcast to provide color commentary. … The Bulls went 15-for-16 from the free-throw line to help make up for a 3-of-16 effort from beyond the arc.
Heat 93, Raptors 83
MIAMI — Forward LeBron James had 32 points, seven rebounds and eight assists as the Miami Heat earned an important win in the battle for the top record in the Eastern Conference, defeating the Toronto Raptors 93-83 Monday night at AmericanAirlines Arena.
By virtue of the win and the Indiana Pacers’ loss to the San Antonio Spurs earlier Monday, the Heat (51-22) lead in the loss column in the competition for the best record in the East. The Pacers (52-23) are in second place by percentage points.
The Raptors on Monday closed to within 81-78 with 6:13 left in the fourth quarter, but the Heat went on a 6-0 run to regain their cushion.
Toronto was led by shooting guard DeMar DeRozan, who had 16 points.
Miami won its third straight game despite using its 20th different starting lineup this season. The Heat was without shooting guards Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen and center Greg Oden but still had enough to snap Toronto’s three-game win streak.
The Heat, which got 18 points from forward Chris Bosh, is 15-7 without Wade this season.
Toronto, which has clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2008, is 35-20 since it traded small forward Rudy Gay.
Miami held a slim 24-23 lead after the first quarter as James had 10 points.
James added 11 points in the second quarter as the Heat, which at one point trailed by 10 points, stretched their lead to 54-51 heading into the break.
Toronto shot exceptionally well for the half — 57.9 percent — but shot just three free throws, making two.
In contrast, the Heat made 13 of 15 from the foul line.
Miami led by as many as 14 points in the third quarter and headed into the fourth leading 74-65. The Raptors shot just 33.3 percent in the third quarter and took just two free throws.
James finished the third quarter with 29 points.