Heat aiming for 3-1 lead over Bulls in East finals

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Noah met with NBA officials on Monday, after which he again apologized for his remark.

Oh, on top of it all, the Bulls lost 96-85, which left Noah pointing toward a line Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau has used often this season.

“Thibs always talks about walking through a fire together,” Noah said. “That’s what it’s all about. You win Game 1, there is a lot of love after the game. You lose two, it’s like the end of the world. But if we can get this one on Tuesday tied up going home, that would be a good position to be in.”

If they’re going to tie the series, they need to find a way to contain Bosh. He already has games of 30 and 34 points in this series, the latter coming in Sunday night’s win _ and he’s managed to overcome the memory of his disasterous 1 for 18 shooting night in Chicago earlier this season.

Only two players had a pair of 30-plus nights against the Bulls in the regular season, those being Wade and Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge.

“It is the Eastern Conference finals and it’s coming down to will and determination,” Bosh said. “I want people to know I want it.”

The Heat needed a big night from Bosh in Game 3, if for no other reason than to counter a monster effort from Carlos Boozer, who finished with 26 points and 17 rebounds.

It was the 10th time in Boozer’s career that he finished with at least that many points and rebounds in game. Somewhat strangely, his teams are only 5-5 when that happens.

“We’re confident,” Boozer said. “We’re a confident group of guys. We believe in our system and we believe in each other. We believe we can get a win.”

The Heat remain the only unbeaten team at home in these playoffs, having won all seven tries so far.

If that holds on Tuesday, they’ll be one win away from the NBA finals, and while it may be tempting to look ahead, James says Miami cannot afford that luxury.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do still,” James said. “We’re just seizing the moment. Honestly, we’ve been through a lot this season, a lot of criticism. But we don’t care. We just go out and just play our game. Coach Spo gives us a game plan and we just try to go out there and execute it to the best of our ability and get wins.”

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Tim Reynolds on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ByTimReynolds

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