U.S. Sports Desk, May 11 (EFE).- Chris Bosh asserted his presence under the glass as the Miami Heat scored a 104-94 road win over the Chicago Bulls to wrest back home-court advantage in that Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Bosh had been quiet in the first two games, but his 20 points on 8-of-16 shooting and 19 rebounds, including five offensive boards, were key in matching the Bulls' physical play and guiding the Heat to a victory Friday night at the United Center and a 2-1 series lead.
Miami pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 98-90 lead and held off the Bulls' attempt to steal the game in the final minutes, as they had in upsetting the Heat in Game 1.
LeBron James shot an inefficient 6-of-17 from the field but still led Miami with 25 points, 12 of them in the critical fourth quarter, when the Heat outscored the Bulls 34-24. He also grabbed eight rebounds and dished out seven assists.
Guard Norris Cole once again gave the Heat a boost off the bench with 18 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field and 3-of-3 from behind the 3-point line.
Cole's effort was critical considering the mediocre play of Heat star shooting guard Dwyane Wade, who finished the game with just 10 points and did not make a single trip to the free-throw line.
All five of the Bulls' starters scored in double figures, with power forward Carlos Boozer leading the way with 21 points on 10-of-16 shooting.
Chicago center Joakim Noah also had a solid game with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Reserve center Nazr Muhammad did not score a single point and played just two-and-a-half minutes, but he was involved in one of the game's more memorable plays when he shoved James to the floor in the second quarter and was ejected.
That left the Bulls - who are missing forward Luol Deng and guard Kirk Hinrich due to injury, not to mention 2011 NBA MVP Derrick Rose, whose status remains up in the air after missing the entire regular season while recovering from a torn ACL - with a seven-man rotation.
For the night, the Heat shot 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point range, compared to 46 percent and 32 percent, respectively, for Chicago.
Miami also more than held its own on the boards, outrebounding the Bulls 39-37 thanks in large part to Bosh's efforts.
The Heat also showcased its improved bench, outscoring the injury-plagued Bulls 36-8.
The series will stay in Chicago for Game 4 on Monday.
In another playoff game Friday night, the San Antonio Spurs also recaptured home-court advantage and a 2-1 series lead with a 102-92 road win over the Golden State Warriors.
Game 4 of that Western Conference semifinal series will be played Sunday afternoon, once again in Oakland.