Wade hot in Miami
FOR 13 years, Dwyane Wade made plenty of what the Miami Heat call “winning plays”.
He made another one on Thursday, only the Heat didn’t enjoy this one.
Wade turned a debated foul call into two big free throws with 13.7 seconds remaining, helping the Chicago Bulls hang on for a 98-95 win and ensuring that his return to the arena he called home for 13 seasons would be a winning one.
It was Wade’s first time facing the Heat as an opponent, and afterward, he seemed more than a little relieved that this was over.
“I can only imagine what he was going through today,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “A lot of emotions coming back here.”
Chicago were up 94-92 when Wade got the call that went against Miami’s Justise Winslow, a foul along the sideline on an inbounds pass where it appeared that the 12-time All-Star may have embellished a bit for effect. If he did, it worked. “If it was last year, he got pushed out of bounds,” a smiling Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “This year? He’s selling it.”
Jimmy Butler scored 20 points and Rajon Rondo finished with 16 points and 12 assists for the Bulls. Robin Lopez had 16 for Chicago, and Wade scored 13 on 5 for 17 shooting.
“I thought I’d shoot better, since I’ve been knowing these rims for a while,” Wade said.
But he made the two big free throws when it counted most and acknowledged afterward that he might have got a break. “I got the vet call,” Wade said. Robin Lopez had 16 points for Chicago, who prevailed in a game that had 14 ties and 19 lead changes. Doug McDermott scored 13 for the Bulls, and Nikola Mirotic added 10.
Hassan Whiteside led Miami with 20 points and 20 rebounds. Dion Waiters and Josh Richardson each scored 16 for the Heat, who lost point guard Goran Dragic to a sprained left ankle in the third quarter.
At Denver, Stephen Curry scored 33 points as Golden State beat Denver 125-101 on a night Kevin Durant’s string of 72 straight regular-season games with at least 20 points ended.
Durant finished with 18 points and remained tied with Michael Jordan for the fourth-longest streak of 20 or more points in league history.
The Pelicans beat the Bucks 112-106, with Anthony Davis hitting a pair of free throws with 12 seconds left and finishing with 32 points, and the Lakers had a 101-91 win over the Kings.
Chicago Bulls guard Dwyane Wade puts his hand over his heart as he acknowledges a video tribute to his time as a Miami Heat player, during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Heat on Thursday night.