Mon, Jan 17, 2011 - Page 19 News List

NBA: Bulls send Heat to third defeat as James looks on

Reuters, CHICAGO

Serenaded with chants of “MVP,” Derrick Rose poured in a game-high 34 points leading the Chicago Bulls to a 99-96 win over the Miami Heat on Saturday, as LeBron James sat out a second straight game.

Sidelined with an ankle injury, James watched in street clothes from the end of the Miami bench as Kyle Korver nailed a key three-pointer with 25 seconds to play as the Heat slumped to a third consecutive defeat.

Chicago native Dwyane Wade stepped up in James’s absence hitting 33 points, including three consecutive three-pointers in the fourth quarter, but missed a jump-shot at the buzzer that would have sent the game into overtime.

Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng each contributed 12 points to the victory as the Bulls improved their home record to 18-3 and widened their lead at the top of the Eastern Conference’s Central Division.

A capacity crowd of 23,072 packed the United Center to watch James make his first visit to Chicago in a Miami uniform, but unless they arrived early, they would have missed seeing the twice MVP on court.

James participated in the pre-game warm-up, but had still not recovered enough from the ankle injury he sustained on -Wednesday in a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

There was more bad news for the Heat, who saw Chris Bosh crumble to the court in the third quarter. He was taken for X-rays, Spoelstra later describing the injury as a sprained ankle.

Chicago charged to a 28-19 first quarter and led by 13 midway through the second before the Heat caught fire, erasing the deficit and taking a 53-48 advantage into the intermission with the help of 21 points from Wade.

However, the Bulls were again quick out of the gate going on a 17-0 run to open the second half to retake the lead 65-53.

The Heat clawed their way back once again, Bosh leading the rally with 11 of his 17 points as Miami trimmed the Chicago advantage to 73-70 going into the final quarter.

In Saturday’s other action, it was:

‧ Grizzlies 89, Mavericks 70

‧ Hornets 88, Bobcats 81

‧ Rockets 112, Hawks 106

‧ Magic 108, Timberwolves 99

‧ Wizards 98, Raptors 95

‧ Pistons 110, Kings 106

‧ Nuggets 127, Cavaliers 99

‧ Trail Blazers 96, Nets 89

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