x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

NBA: Miami Heat winning streak broken by Chicago Bulls after 27 games

Miami fell short in their bid to crack the 33-game unbeaten run of the 1971 LA Lakers side after a narrow 101-97 loss to the Chicago Bulls last night.

Chicago Bulls guard Nate Robinson celebrates scoring against the Miami Heat to break their winning streak.
Chicago Bulls guard Nate Robinson celebrates scoring against the Miami Heat to break their winning streak.

The Miami Heat's bid to NBA history came to a battling end last night as Chicago Bulls brought a halt to their winning streak after 27 matches.

The Bulls narrowly won 101-97 at a raucous United Centre to leave Miami six short of the 1971-72 LA Lakers side's 33-game run.

But after setting the second-longest winning streak in American professional sports history, Erik Spoelstra, the Miami coach, admitted it was a remarkable achievement.

"I had everyone come in and put a hand on each other," Spoelstra said.

"It was the first time I had mentioned the streak.

"It was a heck of an experience to have together. Its significance will mean much more to us later in our careers. I asked them all to share the moment with each other."

The Bulls, who were missing Joakim Noah, Marco Belinelli, Richard Hamilton and Derrick Rose, got 28 points from Luol Deng, while Carlos Boozer compiled 21 points and 17 rebounds.

Boozer came up with the biggest basket for Chicago, fighting off two opponents to grab an offensive rebound, then following it in to make the score 96-89 with 57 seconds remaining.

Nate Robinson put the game out of reach with a drive down the lane and a floater with 30.2 seconds on the clock, while LeBron James hung on the rim after trying to block the shot.

"It didn't matter who they were playing, everyone was following the streak," Deng said.

"So it's great. It's a good feeling to say we're the ones who ended their streak before they broke the record."

James led Miami with 32 points, while Chris Bosh scored 21 and Dwyane Wade had 18.

The game was physical throughout. James was called for a flagrant foul against Boozer, his former Cleveland teammate, with 3:52 remaining.

After leading by as many as 13 points in the first half, Chicago clung to a 69-68 edge heading into the fourth quarter. The Bulls created some space with a 6-0 run, then added a pair of 3-pointers from Deng and a corner 3-pointer by Jimmy Butler to take an 86-79 lead with 5:13 remaining.

"We were much more competitive in that second half," Spoelstra said afterwards.

"However, we were in a make or miss situation in the fourth quarter and just couldn't do it. Give them credit, though, they made big plays at the end."

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