Heat's bid for history ends in loss in Chicago, streak snapped at 27 games
No last-second shot. No fourth-quarter rally. No record for LeBron James and the Miami Heat, either. The Heat's bid for NBA history ended...
CHICAGO — No last-second shot.
No fourth-quarter rally.
No record for LeBron James and the Miami Heat, either.
The Heat's bid for NBA history ended Wednesday night when its 27-game winning streak was snapped by the Chicago Bulls 101-97, setting off a raucous celebration inside United Center.
Miami finished six shy of the 33-game record held by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers.
Later, James said there was no shame in falling short.
"It's one of the best that this league has ever seen," James said, referring to the streak that began on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 3. "We recognized that and rightfully so."
James tried to spur yet another comeback in the final minutes, getting mad after a rough foul. But the reigning MVP could never get the defending champions even or, more importantly, ahead.
With only two-tenths of a second left, James took the final inbounds pass in his own end, dropped the ball to allow time to expire, turned and walked toward the exit.
Luol Deng scored 28 points, Carlos Boozer added 21 points and 17 rebounds, and the Bulls brought the Heat's stampede to a screeching halt. Former Husky Nate Robinson scored 14 points off the bench.
Miami's superstar did all he could to keep the run going, scoring 32 points and even collecting a flagrant foul during a physical final few minutes.
"We haven't had a chance to really have a moment to know what we just did," James said. "We had a moment, just very fortunate, very humbling and blessed to be part of this team and be part of a streak like that."
The Heat hadn't lost since the Pacers beat Miami in Indianapolis on Feb. 1. But after grinding out some close wins lately, including a rally from 27 down in Cleveland, no one counted the Heat out until the final buzzer.
For the better part of two months, Miami was the NBA's comeback kings. The Heat erased seven double-digit deficits during the streak. The Heat found themselves trailing in the fourth quarter 11 times, and won them all.
• Tim Duncan had 23 points and 14 rebounds and the host San Antonio Spurs escaped with a 100-99 win over Denver when Nuggets veteran guard Andre Miller missed a short jumper at the buzzer. The Spurs remained 1 ½ games ahead of Oklahoma City in the race for the top spot in the Western Conference.
• Russell Westbrook scored 21 points and Kevin Durant had 20 to help the host Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Washington Wizards 103-80.
• Blake Griffin scored 19 points and Chris Paul added 16 points and nine assists to lead the Los Angeles Clippers over the host New Orleans Hornets 105-91. Jamal Crawford from Rainier Beach High School scored 13 for L.A.
• Kobe Bryant had 31 points and seven assists in his first game filling in at small forward for injured Metta World Peace, leading the Los Angeles Lakers over the host Minnesota Timberwolves 120-117. World Peace will have surgery on a torn meniscus in his knee and miss six weeks.
• Al Horford scored 26 points, Jeff Teague had 24 points and 13 assists and the Atlanta Hawks clinched a playoff berth for the sixth straight season with a 107-88 win over the host Toronto Raptors.
• Former Husky Spencer Hawes had 15 points and a career-high 17 rebounds, and Jrue Holiday and Damien Wilkins each scored 18 points to lead the host Philadelphia 76ers past the Milwaukee Bucks 100-92.
• Former Sonic Reggie Evans grabbed a career-high 26 rebounds and matched his career high with 22 points as the Brooklyn Nets beat the host Portland Trail Blazers 111-93.