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News  


NBA -- Deng-erous Bulls end end Miami's streak


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO -- There was no late rally. No historical fairy tale ending for the Miami Heat as the Chicago Bulls snapped the NBA's longest winning streak at 27 Wednesday night at the United Center.

The Bulls tend to play to an opposing teams talent level time and time again but tonight they played above and beyond despite the absence of Joakim Noah, Marco Belinelli, Richard Hamilton and of course Derrick Rose who continues to nurse his knee.

Chicago continued to dominate the boards winning the battle in the paint 43-31 with 12 of them coming on the offensive glass. Carlos Boozer added 17 of his own along with 21 points, many of them coming off hard fought layups in the post.

Nate Robinson had a bit of a quiet night coming off the bench adding 14 points on 6-10 shooting and brought a small spark with 8:50 left in the third quarter when he gained a hustle play steal on Dwane Wade and came back down the court to nail an open three as Chicago had opened up a 13 point lead.

The Heat, who fell short of the 1971-72 Lakers record of 33 wins in a row, looked as if they may have got back in the groove of things late in the third as they came back from nine points down to start the half. They took their first lead of the night with 4:28 left in the third off a Shane Battier 3-point field goal making it a 59-58 ball game.

The Bulls and Heat exchanged a few lead changes for the next couple minutes when Luol Deng takes a fast break and lobs the ball up for Jimmy Butler as he soared over a defending Chris Bosh and absolutely "posterized" the Heat All-Star. The arena erupted as Butler roared and beat his chest.


The man of the night was Deng, running on all cylinders and finishing with 28 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Deng hit big shots when Chicago needed them as the shot clock would run out and on open threes dished out by Robinson and Gibson. With 4:48 left in regulation Deng made a tough contested layup off a Wade missed shot to push the Bulls lead to 88-79.


With 3:52 left in the game Lebron James was called for a defensive foul as he attempted to run through a Boozer screen at the top of the key. After an official review, they changed the call to a flagrant one as the video clarified that Lebron blatantly tried to thrust his forearm into Carlos' chest.

Boozer hit one of two free throws on the flagrant call and Chicago retained possession. James later explained his frustration over what he called "not baketball plays," when Kirk Hinrich wrapped him and Taj Gibson made a horse-collar.


The "Big 3" posted the big numbers for Miami as Dwane Wade finished with 18, Chris Bosh added a tough 21 points and Lebron topping off the night with 32 points to lead all scorers while adding seven rebounds and four blocked shots.


"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 could not will his team to make a strong run in the final minutes of regulation as they fell 101-97.

There was no shaking of hands at the end of the game as the Heat players walked off the court stoically.

Photo: Luol Deng tried to foil Heat superstar LeBron James.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Alex Gardunio.


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