MIAMI (AP) — Dwyane Wade got a win in his return to Miami, with Jimmy Butler scoring 20 points and Rajon Rondo adding 16 points and 12 assists as the Chicago Bulls topped the Heat 98-95 on Thursday night.
Robin Lopez had 16 points for Chicago, which prevailed in a game that had 14 ties and 19 lead changes.
Wade scored 13 points on 5-for-17 shooting in his first game at Miami as an opponent, after spending his first 13 NBA seasons with the Heat.
Hassan Whiteside led Miami with 20 points and 20 rebounds. Dion Waiters and Josh Richardson each scored 16 for the Heat, who lost point guard Goran Dragic to a sprained left ankle in the third quarter.
Justise Winslow scored 15 and Tyler Johnson added 14 for Miami.
Wade was feted throughout the night, getting warm ovations and a tribute video in his honor. And he got what he ultimately wanted most — a win, which he sealed with a pair of free throws after a foul call on Winslow that the Heat and their fans argued vehemently with 13.7 seconds left.
Richardson tied the game with a 3-pointer with 6:13 remaining, but the Bulls scored the next six points and led the rest of the way. After the game, Wade went over and greeted Heat managing general partner Micky Arison and general manager Andy Elisburg before leaving the floor and blowing a kiss to the fans who remained.
Amid all the drama surrounding Wade’s return, a basketball game broke out as well.
Miami came out flying and scored the game’s first eight points, Chicago answered with a 12-4 run to tie the game and the stage was set for a back-and-forth sort of night. Chicago’s lead was one after the first quarter, Miami tied it by halftime and despite Wade’s best efforts it remained tied going into the fourth.
Wade tried a 3-pointer over Richardson in the final seconds of the third, and posed after letting it go — a sure sign that he thought it was good. But it rimmed out, and it was 70-all headed into the final 12 minutes.
Bulls: Wade had about two dozen friends and family at the game, and spent the last couple minutes of halftime greeting Heat staff — with a big hug for coach Erik Spoelstra, and even high-fives for a couple of kids sitting near the court. … Wade has made a career on his pump fake, which he taught to some Heat players — and Johnson burned him with it in the second half, drawing a smile from his mentor.
Heat: It was the third career 20-20 game for Whiteside. The only player to have more in a Heat uniform is Rony Seikaly, with 12. … Winslow entered the game in a 10-for-43 slump over his last three games, then shot 6 for 11 on Thursday.
Rondo isn’t always the friendliest sort with opponents, but when he got a layup blocked by Whiteside with 5:20 left he offered the Heat center a congratulatory hand-slap. The two even smiled at each other before heading in their respective directions.
There was one thing Wade wanted that he didn’t get Thursday: He wanted to be on the floor with Udonis Haslem, his teammate on all three of the Heat championship teams. “I want him to switch off on me one time,” Wade said. “Let me get 1-on-1 with UD, that’s what I’ve been waiting on. That right there would make my night.”
Bulls: Host Washington on Saturday. It’s the lone home game in a brutal stretch where Chicago plays eight of nine on the road.
Heat: Host Utah on Saturday. The teams split two meetings last season, and Miami is 10-2 in its last 12 home games with Utah.