Sat, Apr 21, 2012 - Page 19 News List

NBA: Heat defeat the Bulls 83-72 to tighten Eastern race

AP, MIAMI

The Miami Heat beat the Chicago Bulls 83-72 in a bad-tempered clash on Thursday, tightening the race for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

Forward LeBron James had 27 points and 11 rebounds, while guard Dwyane Wade scored 18 points for Miami in a scuffle-filled game.

The Heat held the Bulls to a season-low point total and moved within one-and-a-half games of Chicago, who lead the East.

John Lucas scored 16 points for Chicago, who were again without reigning MVP Derrick Rose because of injuries.

The teams combined for four technical and two flagrant fouls and Miami reserve small forward James Jones was ejected.

SUNS 93, CLIPPERS 90

In Phoenix, point guard Steve Nash hit a crucial driving layup, then made two free throws for the deciding points as Phoenix bolstered their playoff hopes with a victory over Los Angeles.

There were 24 lead changes before the Suns recorded their 10th straight win over the Clippers at home.

Shooting guard Jared Dudley scored 18 points for the Suns, who moved into a tie with the Utah Jazz for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Point guard Chris Paul scored 19 points and dished out 10 assists for the Clippers.

PACERS 118, BUCKS 109

In Indianapolis, Indiana beat Milwaukee to clinch homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Danny Granger scored 29 points and George Hill had 22 points and eight assists for the Pacers, who won their seventh straight and passed 100 points for the 12th time in 13 games.

Brandon Jennings scored 27 points for the Bucks, who lost their third straight and are running out of chances for the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference.

In other NBA action, it was:

‧ Hornets 105, Rockets 99, OT

‧ Timberwolves 91, Pistons 80

Additional reporting by staff writer

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