MIAMI — Dwyane Wade reached a scoring milestone in the third quarter. In the fourth, he turned to his teammates for points.
They delivered, and the Miami Heat remained unbeaten.
Wade scored 25 points to push his
career total to 10,005, reserve Udonis Haslem had 19 points and 11
rebounds, and the Heat pulled away in the final minutes to down the
Chicago Bulls 95-87 on Sunday night.
“It’s just about trust,” Wade said.
Wade found Quentin Richardson for a
3-pointer with 1:41 left for an 89-83 lead — then the largest by any
team all night — and set up Haslem for the clincher, a jumper with 47.4
Haslem isn’t starting, but remains vital to the Heat rotation: He’s averaging 12.3 points and 10 rebounds in 31 minutes.
“He’s a real good pro,” Bulls guard
Derrick Rose said. “He knows he’s there to make shots and help the
young players. He’s a good veteran.”
Carlos Arroyo scored 12 points, Mario
Chalmers added 11 and Michael Beasley overcame a 3-of-12 shooting night
to finish with 10 points and 11 rebounds for Miami (3-0).
Luol Deng scored 26 points for
Chicago (1-2), which got 17 points from John Salmons, 11 from Brad
Miller and 10 from Joakim Noah. Rose shot 4 of 15 and finished with
eight points for the Bulls.
“We didn’t get stops when we needed
and we didn’t make shots when we had to,” Chicago coach Vinny Del Negro
said. “We had good looks, we had open shots, we just didn’t knock them
Miami survived a wild fourth
quarter. The teams alternated the lead seven times in the final 12
minutes, before Chicago missed its final six shots over the last 3:53.
Wade made a free throw with 1:32
left in the third quarter for the 10,000th career point, the first
player to score that many in a Heat uniform. According to STATS LLC,
among the other 42 active players on the list, only LeBron James and
Allen Iverson have a higher scoring average than Wade, who reached the
plateau in his 397th regular-season game.
Miami didn’t escape unscathed:
Jermaine O’Neal broke his nose late in the fourth quarter, jostling for
a rebound. He does not expect to miss any playing time, and said he
won’t wear a protective mask.
“I’ve had my nose broken before,” O’Neal said. “I played with (a mask) for probably half a quarter and ditched it.”
The Heat-Bulls series had some drama
a year ago, including a 130-127 Miami win on March 9. Wade scored 48
points and finished with a flourish, stripping the ball from Salmons
with 3 seconds left and making a running 3-pointer as time expired.
This one had some heroics, too.
Chalmers — who hit the
overtime-forcing jumper for Kansas in its win over Memphis at the 2008
NCAA title game — got past Rose for a layup, giving Miami its first
lead at 40-38. Rose’s drive on the next possession was swatted away by
Beasley, who went No. 2 and one spot behind the Bulls’ point guard in
the 2008 draft.
It was that kind of game the whole way, back and forth until the end.
“Down the stretch, close game, they
made plays, we didn’t make plays,” Salmons said. “You’ve got to make
plays down the stretch. That was the difference in the game.”
A spectacular individual play by
Wade ensured Miami took the lead into halftime. He beat all five Bulls
on one play — splitting two with a behind-the-back dribble around the
top of the key, then thwarting the other three with a changing-hands
layup with 14.9 seconds left, and Miami led 49-48 at intermission.
The defenses took over in the third: Neither team shot better than 36 percent, and the Bulls led 70-69 entering the fourth.
“Those are two very evenly matched
teams,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Well played game. At the end,
it was like a gang fight.”
It took 13:39 for the first
two-shot foul of the game to be called. The next one was called 9
seconds later. … The Heat played without G Daequan Cook (strained
right shoulder). Cook tried to play through it Friday, shooting 1 of 9
against Indiana and saying Sunday he “somewhat” regretted that
decision. … The Bulls skipped a pregame shootaround, choosing to rest
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