MIAMI-- If there's a more heated rivalry in the NBA now than Heat-Bulls, name it.
Thursday night's slugfest between the teams produced two flagrant fouls, one resulting in an ejection, and four individual technicals. It had Miami's Dwyane Wade and Chicago's Richard Hamilton going at it the way the two did when Hamilton played for Detorit in the hotly contested 2005 and 2006 Eastern Conference finals against the Heat.
And when the Heat and the Bulls next see each other, that also could be in the East finals.
On paper, the 83-72 win at AmericanAirlines Arena keeps Miami (45-17) alive for the top seed in the East. But that would require the Bulls (47-16) to lose at least one of their final three games.
More importantly, Thursday's game showed the Heat have no more plans to be pushed around by the allegedly more physical Bulls, who had beaten them two straight.
"It's a great atmosphere," said Heat forward LeBron James, who scored a game-high 27 points. "If you're a competitor, that...