CHICAGO (AP) -- Just in case the message isn't getting through, the Miami Heat are more than happy to repeat it. The championship still is in their hands and good luck trying to pry it away.
The Heat won their season-high ninth straight Thursday night with an 86-67 win over the Chicago Bulls behind LeBron James' 26 points, and supplied more evidence that they're ready to put away the rest of the Eastern Conference.
More important, they're looking like a team that's poised to defend their championship.
"We all had a vision of how this team was going to really operate together, but there is no limit," Chris Bosh said. "We can continue to get better. We can continue to play better together. Our defense can continue to improve. If we want to win in the postseason, it's going to have to."
They sure are looking good at the moment. They blew out Oklahoma City on the road before the All-Star break and followed it up with a win at Atlanta on Wednesday before taking out the Bulls.