The winning is becoming methodical, as are the statements being made.

Can't win a big one on the road? That was refuted against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the final game before the All-Star break.

Can't sustain on the road? The Heat returned from the break with Wednesday's closing power surge against the Atlanta Hawks to start this three-game trip.

Can't handle a muscular Eastern Conference contender? Tell that to the Chicago Bulls, after the Heat rolled to an 86-67 victory Thursday night at the United Center.

The winning streak is now nine, the Heat's longest in a year and second longest in the Big Three era to a 12-game run, as the NBA quickly is running out of questions to pose to Erik Spoelstra's team.

Pushed around by the Bulls' bulky power rotation in Chicago's victory in the opening game of the four-game season series in January, the Heat this time held their own on the boards.

And with the way LeBron James is playing, once that happens, it's basically over.

This time James hit his first five shots and kept rolling, closing with 26 points on 11-of-15 shooting, adding 12 rebounds and seven assists.