Gordon lifts Bulls past slumping Heat
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Ben Gordon’s jumper with two minutes left gave
Chicago the lead for good and the Bulls went on to defeat the struggling Miami
Heat, 100-97, at the United Center.
Gordon ended with 34 points, six rebounds and seven assists to lead the Bulls,
who have won three straight and six of eight. Kirk Hinrich added 26 points and
played solid defense on the Heat’s Dwyane Wade down the stretch, as Chicago
has won all three meetings against Miami this season and four in a row dating
back to last year.
Wade finished with 24 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the
defending champion Heat, who have dropped three in a row. James Posey added 17
points and eight boards, but tossed up a costly air ball on a three-point
attempt late in the fourth quarter, as Miami has dropped five of its last six
Miami played without center Shaquille O’Neal, whose surgically repaired knee
is not healthy enough to play on consecutive days. O’Neal had 11 points in
Friday night’s 116-96 setback in New York.
Trailing for most of the contest, the Heat rallied to tie the game at 86-86 on
a Wade turnaround with 4:47 left. Chicago responded to go ahead 89-86 after an
Andres Nocioni jumper and a Gordon free throw. But the Heat again tied the
game. Wade hit a free throw with 3:13 on the clock and Antoine Walker drained
a baby hook with 2:12 remaining for an 89-89 game.
Gordon, though, gave the Bulls the lead with a jumper with two minutes to
play. The next time down the floor, Posey chucked up a three that didn’t hit
anything and went directly out of bounds to give the ball back to Chicago with
P.J. Brown hit a pair of free throws 11 seconds later to extend the Bulls’
lead to four points.
Still ahead four, 95-91, Jason Kapono missed a long jumper with 52 seconds
left. Thirty seconds later, Wade missed a three, Hinrich got the board and was
fouled. He hit both free throws, extending the lead to 97-91 and Chicago came
away with the win.
Chicago’s Ben Wallace left the game with five minutes left after Udonis Haslem
fell into his left knee. He needed to be assisted off the court without
putting any weight on his injured leg.
Nocioni had 19 points for Chicago, which led for nearly entire contest, taking
a 27-13 lead after one quarter and 54-46 cushion into halftime. The Bulls
continued to lead, 77-67, going into the fourth.
These two teams play one more time, on March 7 in Miami…Chicago now starts a
seven-game road trip…The Heat ended a three-game road trip…Miami fell to
9-15 on the road…Chicago improved to 20-6 at home…Chicago’s Luol Deng had
12 points and 14 boards…Wallace ended with one point and 15 boards.