Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah (13) power forward Carlos Boozer (5) and Miami Heat power forward Chris Andersen (11) battle for a rebound in the first half at American Airlines Arena. Photo by Robert Mayer, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.
MIAMI - Four-time NBA Most Valuable Player LeBron James was held out of Miami's home game Sunday against Chicago with a broken nose he suffered earlier this week.
The Heat's superstar forward torched the Thunder for 33 points to go along with seven rebounds in a 103-81 win on Thursday, but departed late in the game after he was hit in the face by Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka on a driving dunk.
It was unclear whether James would be fit to play leading up to Sunday's game against the Bulls, and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra confirmed less than two hours before tip-off that he would sit out.
"The fact that we don't play (again) until Thursday, it makes the most sense," Spoelstra said.
James is leading the Heat with an average 26.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 6.5 assists in 52 games this season.
Nevertheless, his absence proved little problem for the Heat, who defeated the Bulls 93-79.
Chris Bosh scored 28 points with 10 rebounds and Dwyane Wade added 23 points and 10 rebounds to lift Miami.
Mario Chalmers scored 12 points and handed out nine assists and Ray Allen chipped in 10 points off the bench as the Heat won their fourth straight.
Joakim Noah finished with 20 points and a game-high 15 rebounds and Taj Gibson added another 20 points for the Bulls, who saw their five-game winning streak end.
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