CHICAGO – Miami Heat’s 27-game winning streak in the NBA ended when they were beaten by the Chicago Bulls 101-97 at a raucous United Centre last night.
The defeat was the NBA champions first loss since February 1.
Miami’s 27 consecutive wins was the second longest winning streak in the NBA.
Only the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers, who won 33 in a row, had a longer winning sequence in any of America’s professional sports.†Playing without center Joakim Noah, guard Marco Belinelli, guard Richard Hamilton and Derrick Rose, the Bulls got 28 points from Luol Deng, while Carlos Boozer compiled 21 points and 17 rebounds.
Boozer came up with the biggest basket for Chicago, fighting off two opponents to grab an offensive rebound, then following it in to make the score 96-89 with 57 seconds remaining.
Nate Robinson put the game out of reach with a drive down the lane and a floater with 30.2 seconds on the clock, while LeBron James†hung on the rim after trying to block the shot.
“It didn’t matter who they were playing, everyone was following the streak,” Deng said. “So it’s great. It’s a good feeling to say we’re the ones who ended their streak before they broke the record.”
James led Miami with 32 points, while Chris Bosh scored 21 and Dwyane Wade†had 18.
The game was physical throughout. James was called for a flagrant foul against Boozer, his former Cleveland teammate, with 3:52 remaining.
After leading by as many as 13 points in the first half, Chicago clung to a 69-68 edge heading into the fourth quarter.
The Bulls created some space with a 6-0 run, then added a pair of 3-pointers from Deng and a corner 3-pointer by Jimmy Butler to take an 86-79 lead with 5:13 remaining.
Other scores last night: Lakers 120, Timberwolves 117; Clippers 105, Hornets 91; Thunder 103, Wizards 80; Pacers 100, Rockets 91; Knicks 108, Grizzlies 101; Celtics 93, Cavaliers 92; Bobcats 114, Magic 108 Hawks 107, Raptors 88; 76ers 100, Bucks 92.†††