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Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013

Gritty Bulls beat Heat

Strong effort on the boards helps Chicago hold off reigning champs


MIAMI — Even when seated, the Chicago Bulls outrebounded the Miami Heat.

News photo
Eyes on the prize: Chicago's Carlos Boozer (right) drives past Miami's Chris Bosh during the Bulls' 96-89 win on Friday. AP

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. . ."

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.

But he had just six rebounds, which led the Heat. Boozer had 12 rebounds for Chicago, and Taj Gibson added nine.

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.

Clippers 107, Lakers 102

In Los Angeles, Chris Paul had 30 points and 13 assists, Blake Griffin added 24 points, and the Clippers led all the way in beating the Lakers.

Kobe Bryant scored 38 points and Dwight Howard had 21 points and 15 rebounds for the Lakers, who lost for the second time this season to their Staples Center cotenants.

Bryant carried the Lakers in the fourth quarter when they closed to 99-97 on his long jumper with 1:29 left. But Paul scored the Clippers' final eight points to seal the win and drop the Lakers two games below .500.

Nets 115, Wizards 113 (2OT)

In Washington, Joe Johnson's jumper with 0.7 seconds left in the second overtime lifted Brooklyn over the Wizards.

Brook Lopez had 27 points and 13 rebounds for the Nets, who are 4-1 under P.J. Carlesimo.

Thunder 109, 76ers 85

In Oklahoma City, Russell Westbrook scored 27 points, Kevin Durant added 26 and the Thunder bounced back from a rare home loss to beat Philadelphia.

Celtics 94, Pacers 75

In 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.

Cavaliers 106, Bobcats 104

In Charlotte, Kyrie Irving scored 33 points, including a pull-up jumper from the foul line with one second left, to lift Cleveland over the hosts.

Pistons 85, Hawks 84

In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Austin Daye had a season-best 20 points and Detroit earned its fourth consecutive victory by beating Atlanta.

Trail Blazers 86, Grizzlies 84

In Memphis, Wesley Matthews scored 21 points, J.J. Hickson added 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Portland beat the Grizzlies.

Kings 105, Raptors 96

In 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 the Raptors.

Jazz 87, Suns 80

In Phoenix, Al Jefferson helped Utah dominate the paint and the game, scoring 21 points and Paul Millsap adding 19 to lead the Jazz past the Suns.

Rockets 115, Bucks 101

In Milwaukee, James Harden scored 29 points to lead Houston to a victory over the Bucks.

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