Wade be­gins Bulls ca­reer

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

CHICAGO: Dwyane Wade tal­lied 22 points in his Chicago home­com­ing as the Bulls showed off their re­tooled ros­ter with a 105-99 win over the Bos­ton Celtics on Thurs­day at the United Cen­ter. Af­ter trad­ing point guard Der­rick Rose to the New York Knicks, Chicago over­hauled last sea­son’s ros­ter with the ad­di­tion of Wade and Ra­jon Rondo, who signed with the Bulls in the off­sea­son.

Wade, who fin­ished with 22 points, hit fourof-six from the three-point line in his first game with the Bulls. Wade had just seven threes dur­ing all of the last NBA sea­son for the Mi­ami Heat. Wade, who grew up in Chicago, sealed the vic­tory Thurs­day with his fi­nal three pointer of the night. He nailed a long-range shot over guard Avery Bradley with 26 sec­onds left in the fourth quar­ter to put Chicago up 104-99.

“It was spe­cial,” he said of get­ting a chance to play for his home­town team. “I had an amaz­ing ca­reer and 23 years ago I had a dream of play­ing bas­ket­ball and a dream of play­ing with this or­ga­ni­za­tion and tonight it be­came a re­al­ity.” Wade has never been known as a three-point shooter but he’s been work­ing on get­ting bet­ter at it. “For a guy who has been in the league that long it says a lot that he is will­ing to work hard and add a new el­e­ment to his game,” said Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg.

Jimmy But­ler led Chicago with 24 points and Rondo added four points and nine as­sists. “For some guys who can’t shoot, I think we did pretty well tonight,” said But­ler. For­ward Taj Gib­son fin­ished with 18 points and 10 re­bounds for Chicago as he earned a start­ing role to be­gin the sea­son. Nikola Mirotic had 15 points off the bench for the Bulls, who dom­i­nated the glass 55-36. Guard Isa­iah Thomas led Bos­ton with 25 points, while Bradley had 16 points, Jae Crow­der added 14 and Al Hor­ford-a high-pro­file off­sea­son signee-fin­ished with 11 points, seven re­bounds and five as­sists.

The Celtics played their sec­ond game in as many days af­ter de­feat­ing the Brook­lyn Nets 122-117 on Wed­nes­day at home. Chicago led the en­tire first half. That in­cluded a 57-49 lead at half­time, af­ter get­ting a com­bined 28 points, 12 re­bounds, 11 as­sists from Wade, But­ler and Rondo. The Celtics are com­ing off two straight play­off ap­pear­ances. This sea­son they added four-time all-star Hor­ford, who inked a four-year deal worth $113 mil­lion. Wade said he likes the way the Celtics are play­ing and that teams are go­ing to have trou­ble stop­ping them this sea­son. “You have to be at your best if you are go­ing to beat them,” he said.

HAWKS 114, WIZ­ARDS 99

Dwight Howard dom­i­nated the boards in his Atlanta de­but, Paul Mill­sap scored 28 points and Tim Har­d­away Jr. ig­nited the newlook Hawks in a vic­tory over Wash­ing­ton. Howard grabbed 19 re­bounds to go along with 11 points, just what the Hawks ex­pected from their new cen­ter, and it cer­tainly wasn’t un­usual for three-time All-Star Mill­sap to lead the way in scor­ing. But Har­d­away’s per­for­mance was to­tally un­ex­pected given the way he strug­gled in his first sea­son with the Hawks, when he was largely con­fined to the bench and even forced to spend time in the DLeague. He scored 21 points, match­ing his high in an Atlanta uni­form, and broke open a close game with back-to-back 3-point­ers in the fourth. The Hawks, who led only 81-80 head­ing to the fi­nal pe­riod, outscored the Wiz­ards 33-19 over the fi­nal 12 min­utes.

SPURS 102, KINGS 94

Kawhi Leonard scored 30 points and San An­to­nio spoiled the reg­u­lar sea­son opener at Sacra­mento’s new down­town arena. LaMar­cus Aldridge added 16 points as the Spurs clamped down on de­fense in the sec­ond half led by Leonard’s strong play to win their sec­ond straight game to open the sea­son. San An­to­nio spoiled Kevin Du­rant’s home de­but for Golden State on Tues­day be­fore send­ing Kings fans home un­happy on what be­gan as a cel­e­bra­tory night in Sacra­mento. The arena was rau­cous pregame for its first game that counts as there was plenty of emo­tion from fans who re­mem­bered how close the fran­chise was to mov­ing to Seat­tle be­fore Vivek Ranadive bought the team in 2013 and reached a deal to build the arena. It didn’t end as well de­spite a strong night from DeMar­cus Cousins, who led Sacra­mento with 37 points and 16 re­bounds.

CLIP­PERS 114, TRAIL BLAZ­ERS 106

Blake Grif­fin had 27 points and 13 re­bounds to lead Los An­ge­les. It was a con­tentious game that had fans boo­ing the of­fi­cials af­ter two fla­grant fouls on Port­land play­ers in the fourth quar­ter. Chris Paul hit a 3pointer that gave the Clip­pers a 102-90 lead with 4:07 left and the crowd headed for the ex­its. Damian Lil­lard’s layup got the Blaz­ers within 107-102 with 35.9 sec­onds left but the rally fell short. It was the sea­son opener for the Clip­pers, the last team in the West­ern Con­fer­ence to start the sea­son. Port­land opened at home on Tues­day with a 113-104 vic­tory over the Utah Jazz. Paul also fin­ished with 27 points for the Clip­pers. Lil­lard led the Blaz­ers with 29 points and 10 re­bounds be­fore foul­ing out late.

CHICAGO: Dwyane Wade #3 of the Chicago Bulls re­acts to a three point shot late in the fourth quar­ter against the Bos­ton Celtics at the United Cen­ter. —AFP

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