x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

NBA: Miami turn up the Heat on Chicago with revenge victory

LeBron James inspired Miami to a comfortable win over Chicago as the Heat sought revenge for the loss which ended their bid for the record books.

Chicago's Nazr Mohammed and Chris Andersen of the Miami Heat prepare for a rebound.
Chicago's Nazr Mohammed and Chris Andersen of the Miami Heat prepare for a rebound.

The Miami Heat got revenge on the Chicago Bulls for ending their modern record-breaking streak after a 105-93 victory thanks to LeBron James.

The Heat's win came three weeks after the Bulls broke Miami's NBA winning streak at 27 games.

"We wanted to win this game; we always want to protect home court," Chris Bosh said.

"We didn't want to play any sloppy basketball and lose a bad game."

James also had seven rebounds and six assists, while Dwyane Wade scored 22 for the Heat, who shot 51.4 per cent from the field overall.

It marked the sixth straight win and a team record 36th victory at home this season for Miami.

"We just have to keep moving forward and concentrate on improving," said Tom Thibodeau, Miami's head coach, afterwards.

"Hopefully we will get a couple of (injured) guys back soon. I don't want us thinking about the playoffs, I want us thinking about the game tomorrow with the Orlando Magic."

Chicago had a half-dozen players finish in double figures, led by Luol Deng's 19 points. The Bulls shot just 35.4 per cent en route to a fourth loss in five games.

The setback dropped Chicago a full game behind Atlanta for the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference with two games to play in the regular season.

Meanwhile the fourth-ranked Brooklyn Nets lost 93-87 to the Toronto Raptors and the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 91-77.

The Los Angeles Lakers coped without Kobe Bryant as they beat the San Antonio Spurs 91-86 to take another step towards the NBA's final play-off place.

Dwight Howard took centre stage with 26 points and 17 rebounds in the absence of Bryant, who ruptured his Achilles tendon against the Golden State Warriors on Friday and was ruled out for the remainder of the campaign and possibly even the start of next season.

The remaining postseason berth in the Western Conference is between the Lakers and the Utah Jazz, who to qualify must win both their remaining games and hope the Lakers lose to Houston on Wednesday.

The Denver Nuggets boosted their hopes of the number three seed with a 118-109 win over the Portland Trail Blazers, led by 28 points from Andre Iguodala, but lost leading rebounder Kenneth Faried to a sprained ankle which leaves him doubtful for the start of the postseason.

Elsewhere in the west, the play-off bound Houston Rockets beat the Sacramento Kings 121-100 and the Dallas Mavericks hammered the New Orleans Hornets 107-89.


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