Chris Bosh stole the spotlight as the Miami Heat claimed a 2-1 lead in the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals with a 96-85 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Sunday night.

Often overlooked as the lesser member of the Heat’s Big Three, Bosh had 35 points, hitting 13 of his last 15 shots as the hosts retained their perfect home play-off record this season.

And with LeBron James adding 22 points and 10 rebounds, the Bulls simply didn’t have enough offense to cope.

Chicago slipped away in the fourth quarter when Miami used a 9-0 spurt, capped by a three-point play from James. Up 87-74, the Heat never let their opponents come closer than seven.

“All year, we’ve made teams shoot lower than that. That’s how we win games, especially in the fourth quarter,” said Great Britain international Luol Deng, who had 14 points and 8 rebounds.

“They’ve changed from the first game. They’re attacking more. We’ve got to present a wall,” he continued. “When we play good defence, we get easy baskets and guys feel better when you get stops. When you get stops, you don’t worry so much about the offensive end. When the teams are scoring, you think about your next shot. That’s how it is.

“They’re taking away our first option. They’re making us go to our second and third option. They’re just doing a good job of taking what we’re looking for away.”

Carlos Boozer had 28 points and 17 rebounds for Chicago with Derrick Rose adding 20.

But the Bulls will have to bounce back in Game 4 in Miami on Tuesday night (2.30am Wednesday, ESPN), knowing there are three players who stand in their way. And, if necessary, the Heat will continue to turn to Bosh.

“C-B had it going,” James said. “When we have someone going on our team, we continue to go to him.”

Image: NBAE / Getty

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