Boozer leads Bulls past Heat 96-89
MIAMI — Even when seated, the Chicago Bulls outrebounded the Miami Heat.
Following one missed shot, the ball rolled between forward Carlos Boozer’s legs as he fell on his backside, yet he still managed to scoop it up and feed a teammate for two more second-chance points for Chicago.
Dominating on the glass and the hardwood, the Bulls became only the third visiting team to win in Miami this season, beating the Heat 96-89 Friday night.
Chicago outrebounded Miami 48-28. The Bulls had 19 offensive rebounds to four for the Heat.
“Everybody in both locker rooms understands what the overwhelming key to the game was,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “They were throwing it up there and playing volleyball against us.”
The Eastern Conference-leading Heat fell to 15-3 at home. Their other home defeats came against the Knicks and Warriors.
“It always feels good to beat the Heat,” said center Joakim Noah, who had 12 rebounds. “And we get a night out in the city, so we’re hyped right now. We haven’t been playing great basketball and this is probably our biggest win of the year against the defending champs. It feels good.”
The first meeting between the teams this season was a bruiser, and the Bulls repeatedly outfought and outfoxed Miami on the boards.
The Heat, who are last in the NBA in rebounds, had won four games this season when outrebounded by 15 or more. But this time the disparity beat them.
“It’s just the will of going to do it,” LeBron James said. “It’s a reoccurrence. You give a team like this extra possessions, they’re going to capitalize.”
James scored 30 points, extending his streaks of scoring at least 20 points to 31 consecutive games this season, and 52 games in a row overall when including last year’s playoff run. He has scored at least 25 in eight consecutive games.
But he had just six rebounds, which led the Heat. Boozer had 12 rebounds for Chicago, and Taj Gibson added nine in 17 minutes.
The Bulls’ final offensive rebound helped seal the win. Jimmy Butler grabbed it and fed Boozer for a layup with 46 seconds left to put them up 93-86.
Chicago had 20 second-chance points to seven for Miami.
“It’s killing us, plain and simple,” said Heat center Chris Bosh, who had one offensive rebound in 38 minutes. “Is it scheme? Is it mental? We’d better figure it out.”
Boozer scored 27 points after totaling a season-high 31 Wednesday at Orlando. Noah, back after missing one game with flu-like symptoms, had 13 points.
They set the tone with their physical play.
“I don’t know if that small ball is going to work against us,” Noah said. “Not with guys like Carlos Boozer in the game.”
While the Heat were often on their heels, they kept coming back. A jarring foul by Kirk Hinrich near the sideline staggered James and he collapsed on the Bulls bench, then was helped to his feet by coach Tom Thibodeau.
Seconds later, James sank a 3.
Noah drew a flagrant foul when he tackled James around the neck with one arm to stop a drive early in the fourth quarter. The violation led to a four-point possession for the Heat, with James sinking four consecutive free throws.
The next time Miami had the ball, James drove for a dunk that cut Chicago’s lead to 75-72. But the Heat got no closer.
“We understand how important rebounding is,” Thibodeau said, “and it showed tonight.”
Chicago won with more than mere muscle. The Bulls’ 5-foot-9 Nate Robinson made a leaping interception of a James pass, then smartly bounced the ball off Miami’s Shane Battier to avoid traveling. The ball dribbled out of bounds, allowing Chicago to keep possession.
Robinson’s 3-pointer with 6 minutes left gave the Bulls their biggest lead, 83-73.
The Bulls pounded the boards from the start and scored the final 10 points of the first quarter for a 26-22 lead. Butler’s buzzer-beater to end the first half put them up 49-48.
Marco Belinelli sank a 3-pointer to put Chicago up 75-66 after three quarters.
The Heat had won their past two games, both in overtime, but the Bulls wouldn’t let them get to OT.
NETS 115, WIZARDS 113, 2OT
WASHINGTON — Joe Johnson’s jumper with 0.7 seconds left in the second overtime lifted Brooklyn over Washington.
Bradley Beal’s two free throws tied the score at 113 with 9.1 seconds to play before Johnson, who had 18 points, hit the shot that improved Brooklyn to 4-1 under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo.
Brook Lopez had 27 points and 13 rebounds for the Nets, and Deron Williams added 24 points and 10 assists.
Beal had a career-high 24 points. Jordan Crawford scored 23 points and Nene, who fouled out in the first overtime, had 20 for Washington, which lost its fourth in a row and is now 4-27.
After Martell Webster’s jumper gave the Wizards a 106-104 lead to begin the second overtime, Gerald Wallace made a layup and Keith Bogans converted a three-point play and a layup for a 111-106 lead with 3:21 to play.
Beal hit a 3-pointer as the first overtime ended to tie the score at 104. It was the second time Washington extended the game at the horn. Nene hit a hook shot to tie it at 93 in regulation.
THUNDER 109, 76ERS 85
OKLAHOMA CITY — Russell Westbrook scored 27 points, Kevin Durant added 26 and Oklahoma City bounced back from a rare home loss to beat Philadelphia.
Oklahoma City made eight of its first 10 3-point attempts in the second half and never trailed after scoring the final five points before halftime.
Serge Ibaka chipped in 15 points and 10 rebounds and Kevin Martin had 16 points off the bench for the Thunder, who haven’t lost consecutive home games since dropping two of the first three to start the 2010-11 season.
Nick Young led Philadelphia with 21 points, and Jrue Holiday had 15 points and nine assists. The Sixers fell to 2-5 on their eight-game road trip, which started before Christmas and concludes Saturday night at San Antonio.
CAVALIERS 106, BOBCATS 104
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Kyrie Irving scored 33 points, including a pull-up jumper from the foul line with one second left, to lift Cleveland over Charlotte.
Irving had 14 of his team’s final 16 points and 26 points in the second half as the Cavaliers snapped a three-game losing streak.
Irving was 10 of 21 from the field and converted all 10 free throws while scoring 16 points in the fourth quarter. He also had six assists and five rebounds.
Tristan Thompson added 19 points and C.J. Miles added 18 for the Cavaliers.
Ben Gordon led Charlotte’s second-half charge, finishing with 27 points.
Ramon Sessions added 20 points and Gerald Henderson had 17, including a career-high four 3-pointers for the Bobcats, who have lost 19 of 20.
CELTICS 94, PACERS 75
BOSTON — Kevin Garnett scored 18 points before he was ejected for a flagrant foul in the fourth quarter, and the Celtics snapped a four-game losing streak.
Rajon Rondo added 18 points, seven assists and five rebounds for Boston, which had lost eight of 10 to fall a season-worst three games below .500. Garnett also had seven rebounds.
Tyler Hansbrough scored 19 points and David West and Roy Hibbert had 10 rebounds apiece for the Pacers. The Central Division leaders had won six of seven and nine of 11.
The Celtics used a 17-3 run in the second quarter to take control of the game.
PISTONS 85, HAWKS 84
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Austin Daye had a season-best 20 points and Detroit earned its fourth consecutive victory.
The Hawks, who trailed by as many as 19, had the ball in the final seconds, but Andre Drummond blocked Lou Williams’ jumper at the buzzer to preserve the win.
The Pistons have won six of seven overall, with the only loss coming in double overtime at Atlanta. The second unit has powered the surge, outscoring the starters in several games, and the reserves outscored Atlanta’s backups 41-14, led by Daye.
Josh Smith had 20 points for Atlanta, while Al Horford had 18 points and 15 rebounds.
TRAIL BLAZERS 86, GRIZZLIES 84
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Wesley Matthews scored 21 points, J.J. Hickson added 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Portland beat Memphis.
Rudy Gay’s jumper from near the top of the key was off the mark, allowing the Trail Blazers to escape a closely played game that saw nine ties and 21 lead changes.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 15 points and 12 rebounds for Portland, while Nicolas Batum and Damian Lillard added 11 points apiece, Lillard also handing out eight assists.
Marreese Speights had a season-high 22 points and 13 rebounds for the Grizzlies in place of Zach Randolph, who missed the game with flu-like symptoms. Gay had 19 points, but was 8 of 21 from the field.
Marc Gasol scored 12 points and had a career-best eight blocks. Darrell Arthur contributed 10 points off the Memphis bench.
KINGS 105, RAPTORS 96
TORONTO — DeMarcus Cousins scored a season-high 31 points and matched his career high with 20 rebounds, John Salmons scored eight of his 20 points in the fourth quarter and Sacramento beat Toronto.
Jason Thompson scored 14 points and Isaiah Thomas had 11 as the Kings won their second straight road game. Sacramento had gone 1-13 away from home before winning at Cleveland on Wednesday.
The Kings have won six of eight overall following their second five-game losing streak of the season.
Kyle Lowry scored 24 and Ed Davis had 11 points and 13 rebounds for the Raptors, who came in having won eight of nine and a season-best five straight at home.
Alan Anderson scored 20, DeMar DeRozan had 14 and Jose Calderon added 13 for the Raptors.
JAZZ 87, SUNS 80
PHOENIX — Al Jefferson scored 21 points and Paul Millsap added 19 to lead Utah past slumping Phoenix.
Gordon Hayward added 14 points off the bench for the Jazz, who have won consecutive games for the first time since Dec. 5-12.
Utah was without center Enes Kanter, who sprained his right ankle in a win Wednesday against Minnesota.
Marcin Gortat had 18 points and 11 rebounds for Phoenix. Goran Dragic added 17 points, but only six after the first quarter.
ROCKETS 115, BUCKS 101
MILWAUKEE — James Harden scored 29 points to lead Houston over Milwaukee.
Harden shot 11 of 18 from the floor to go with seven assists and four steals for Houston, which has won 10 of its last 13 games.
The Rockets, who shot 54 percent from the field, also got 22 points from Carlos Delfino in his return to Milwaukee. He played for the Bucks from 2009-12 before signing with Houston as an unrestricted free agent in the offseason.
The Rockets’ Jeremy Lin was taken to the locker room with 10:34 left in the third after the left side of his head was slightly bloodied after he collided with the right cheek of Milwaukee’s Larry Sanders as the two scrambled for a loose ball near half court. He returned to the bench with just under 3 minutes left in the period and started the fourth quarter.
Milwaukee equaled a season worst by losing its third game in a row despite 16 points from Brandon Jennings.
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