The Chicago Bulls staged a big third-quarter rally to help seal a 93-89 win over the Miami Heat on Thursday.
The victory enabled the Bulls (39-17) to snap the Heat’s three-game winning streak and moved the home team to within two games of second place Miami in the conference standings.
Miami (42-16) struggled through a disastrous third quarter to squander a 53-44 halftime lead, as the Bulls outscored the Heat 27-14, led by Luol Deng and Derrick Rose with 12 and 10 points respectively.
The teams took turns dominating in the fourth quarter, which was finally decided by Deng’s three-pointer to break an 89-89 tie with just 16 seconds remaining when Rose identified a double team as he drove the lane and passed to his wide open teammate.
Rose led the Bulls with 26 points and Deng scored 18 points in the second half to finish with 20.
Chris Bosh was limited to seven points for Miami on one-for-18 shooting from the field.
“They didn’t do anything,” Bosh said. “I just missed shots. They played good defense when it was time. That’s what they’re known for, but at the end of the day, I was what we call butt-naked wide open.”
NUGGETS 89, CELTICS 75
Kenyon Martin scored 18 points and newcomer Wilson Chandler added 16 as the Denver Nuggets closed the game with a 16-0 run to beat the Boston Celtics 89-75 on Thursday in Denver, Colorado.
Denver played their first game with the five new players they acquired in the trade that sent star forward Carmelo Anthony and veteran Chauncey Billups to the New York Knicks two days ago.
Paul Pierce hit a 3-pointer with 6 minutes remaining to give Boston a 75-73 lead, but the Celtics were held scoreless for the rest of the game.