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Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011

Bulls outduel Heat

CHICAGO (AP) From his spot in the corner, Luol Deng saw Dwyane Wade rotate to stop Derrick Rose and knew his moment was coming.

News photo
Stand back: Miami's LeBron James soars in for a slam dunk against Chicago in the first half on Thursday. The Bulls beat the Heat 93-89. AP PHOTO

He was all alone, wide open.

Then, in a flash, he was celebrating and so was just about everyone else in the arena.

Deng buried the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 16 seconds left and finished with 20 points, Rose scored 26 and the Chicago Bulls beat the Miami Heat 93-89 on Thursday night in a wild showdown between two of the Eastern Conference's top teams.

In a game that could have playoff seeding implications, the Bulls used a big third quarter to turn a nine-point halftime deficit into a 71-67 advantage, then watched a nine-point lead in the fourth evaporate into a four-point hole before pulling it out.

Deng's 3-pointer with 16 seconds left broke an 89-89 tie and helped Chicago bounce back from a brutal loss at Toronto the previous night with the Bulls' 16th win in 21 games.

"If you watched last night's game and tonight's game, it just shows what we're capable of doing," Deng said, referring to a 118-113 loss in which the Raptors shot an opponent-best 58.1 percent.

Wade scored 34 points and LeBron James added 29 for Miami, but it was a brutal night for Chris Bosh. He missed 17 of 18 shots and had seven points with Joakim Noah mostly guarding him.

"It makes it frustrating just knowing that if I would have made two or three of them in a close game like that it would have made a difference," Bosh said.

Nuggets 89, Celtics 75

In Denver, Kenyon Martin scored 18 points and newcomer Wilson Chandler chipped in with 16 as the Nuggets closed the game with a 16-0 run to beat the shorthanded Boston.

Denver played its first game with the five new players it acquired in the trade that sent star forward Carmelo Anthony and veteran Chauncey Billups to the New York Knicks two days ago.

The Celtics had just nine players available following three trades earlier Thursday.

The Nuggets had their full complement of players, but their best defender, Martin, missed the second quarter while getting an IV in the locker room.

New Nuggets Chandler, Danilo Gallinari and Raymond Felton got off to a slow start, combining to shoot 2-for-12 in the first half, which ended with Denver ahead 37-36.

The Nuggets took a 61-60 lead into the fourth quarter.

Paul Pierce, who led Boston with 17 points, hit a 3-pointer with 6 1/2 minutes remaining that gave the visitors a 75-73 lead, but the Celtics wouldn't score again.

Kings could move

SACRAMENTO , Calif. (AP) The Sacramento Kings could be the next NBA franchise on the move.

In the latest and perhaps strongest signal yet that the Kings are considering a new home, the franchise filed a request Thursday for an extension on the NBA's March 1 deadline to inform the league if they intend to seek permission to relocate next season.

The Kings would have the opportunity to discuss their options at the NBA's Board of Governors meetings April 14-15, NBA spokesman Tim Frank confirmed in an e-mail. The board is considering the Kings' request.

If the Kings moved to Orange County, they would be the third NBA team in the nation's second-biggest metropolitan area, but the potential benefits likely outweigh the drawbacks of moving into the archrival Lakers' backyard and competing with the Clippers.

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