Chicago Bulls hand Miami Heat fourth straight loss | NBA
Derrick Rose scored 27 points, Luol Deng capped an 18-point effort with two free throws that put Chicago ahead for good, and the Bulls beat...
MIAMI — Derrick Rose scored 27 points, Luol Deng capped an 18-point effort with two free throws that put Chicago ahead for good, and the Bulls beat Miami 87-86 on Sunday to hand the Heat their fourth straight loss.
Carlos Boozer scored 12 and Joakim Noah added 11 for the Bulls, who moved a game ahead of Miami into outright possession of second place in the Eastern Conference and beat the Heat for the third time this season.
LeBron James scored 26 points, Chris Bosh added 23 and Dwyane Wade had 20 for the Heat. James and Wade both missed shots that would have won it for Miami in the final eight seconds.
"I told my team, I'm not going to continue to fail late in games," James said.
It was the fourth time since Feb. 24 where Miami held a double-digit lead and ultimately lost. The Heat led by as many as 12 on Sunday.
"The Miami Heat are exactly what everyone wanted, losing games," Wade said. "The world is better now because the Heat is losing."
Miami was down 82-76 with 3:30 left when Rose made a jumper over Mike Miller, before putting together a rally — with Mario Chalmers leading the way. He hit a three-pointer to tie it with 1:05 left, then blew past a closeout for an easy layup from the left side that put the Heat ahead 86-84 with 25 seconds left.
Of late, though, nothing comes easy for Miami.
With Chicago down by two, Deng missed the second of two free throws, and referee Tony Brothers called a foul on Miller for pushing Deng in the chase for the loose ball.
Deng went back to the line, made both this time, and Chicago was up 87-86 with 15.9 seconds remaining.
So once again, Miami found itself in the situation where it has struggled mightily this season, needing a field goal in the final minute to decide a game.
The ball went to James, who drove on Noah and missed a layup from the left block. Wade got the rebound, tried a 15-footer from the baseline that bounced away, and time expired as the Bulls leapt in celebration and coach Tom Thibodeau punched the air.
"We're just trying to play the best we can," Noah said. "I think we still have a long way to go and we can get a lot better. That's what is so exciting about this team. Our defense is really improving. We can still improve offensively as well. We can take this pretty far."
• The Los Angeles Lakers handed San Antonio a blunt reminder that the Western Conference is still theirs to surrender, beating the Spurs 99-83 and ending the hosts' franchise-record 22-game home winning streak.
Kobe Bryant, who finished with 26 points, didn't make much of it.
"We know we're capable of having games like this and San Antonio knows we're capable of having games like this," he said. "It just as easily could go the other way around."
Tony Parker led the Spurs with 14 points. He was their only starter in double figures; Tim Duncan scored two points and Manu Ginobili six.
• Russell Westbrook had 32 points and 11 assists, and Oklahoma City overcame an off night by NBA scoring leader Kevin Durant to beat visiting Phoenix 122-118 in overtime.
Durant made a season-low three baskets on 14 attempts and scored 18 points, 11 of them on free throws.
• Andre Iguodala had his second straight triple-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists to help host Philadelphia beat Golden State 125-117 in overtime.
• New Orleans point guard Chris Paul was taken from the floor on a stretcher after sustaining a concussion during the third quarter in the Hornets' 96-81 at Cleveland. Paul lost the ball driving into the lane and hit his forehead on the right shoulder of Cavs guard Ramon Sessions.
The Hornets said Paul was fully conscious and never lost any feeling anywhere, but he will miss Monday's game at Chicago.
• Boston signed G Carlos Arroyo for the rest of the season after he was released by Miami. Coach Doc Rivers said Arroyo would join the team Monday.
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