CHICAGO -- The Miami Heat won their fifth in a row on Friday night, this time at the expense of the skidding Chicago Bulls, 116-108, at the United Center.
It was a wire-to-wire finish for the visiting Heat, who improved to 11-3 for a second place spot in the Eastern Conference. The 11-3 start ties a Miami franchise best after 14 games. The last time Miami pulled the trick was in the 2013-14 season, the last year of the Big 3 era of LeBron James. Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade.
Despite trailing by as many as 26 points, the Bulls crawled to withing seven, but with 1:02 left to play, it was a little too late.
Jimmy Butler tormented his former team with 27 points, five rebounds, seven assists and four steals. But he was unhappy with the way his team eased a little of the pedal.
"It just can't happen if we want to be as good as we say we want to be," Butler told reporters. "But a win is a win."
Playing in his hometown for the first time, Miami rookie Kendrick Nunn acquitted himself well, finishing with 27 points on 8-of-14 shooting. The Heat had 33 assists on 39 made baskets and entered the game ranked No.2 in the league behind the Suns in percentage of shots made at 65.1 percent.
The Bulls, meanwhile, fell to a 5-11 record and dropped to 12th place in the East. Zach LaVine had 15 and Coby White added 12.