Thursday, December 14, 2017
Sports

Heat tops Bulls in Game 3

CHICAGO — The Heat answered the type of question Friday it rarely has to or wants to answer:

What happens deep in the playoffs when neither LeBron James nor Dwyane Wade is at the top of his game?

Miami still found a way to take a 2-1 lead in its Eastern Conference semifinal series with a 104-94 victory over the Bulls.

"Well, nothing is going to be easy in this series," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "And this is another example of that. We didn't play particularly well."

James shot 6-of-17 from the floor and scored 25, and Wade was timid with his attempts in a 10-point effort in a game that was rugged early.

Chris Bosh had 19 rebounds, a career playoff high, and 20 points, and Norris Cole came off the bench for 18 points, including a huge 3-pointer late.

Chicago refused to go quietly after the worst playoff loss in franchise history Wednesday and despite playing without ailing Luol Deng and injured Kirk Hinrich (calf).

The physical nature of this series continued. Bulls center Nazr Mohammed was ejected after shoving James to the court early in the second quarter.

"You can't win a championship being pretty and shiny," Bosh said. "You're going to have to get dirty. You're going to have to play physical. You're going to have to dive on the floor."

Cole's 3 gave Miami a 96-88 lead with 1:48 to play.

Bryant case: A federal judge in California ruled that an auction house cannot sell, destroy or otherwise dispose of Kobe Bryant memorabilia offered by the Lakers star's mother while courts sort out where the case should be decided. Pamela Bryant reached a deal in January for Berlin, N.J.-based Goldin Auctions to sell hundreds of items of her son's memorabilia stored at her Philadelphia house, a move her son opposes.

Fines: Bulls forward Taj Gibson was fined $25,000 for an outburst at a referee in Game 2 against the Heat. … Knicks guard J.R. Smith was docked $5,000 for a flop during Game 1 of their East semifinal against Indiana.

Around the league: The 76ers hired Sam Hinkie as team president and general manager, the Associated Press reported. Hinkie is a former assistant GM with the Rockets. … Chris Hansen increased his bid by $75 million to $625 million in another attempt to buy the Kings and move the franchise to Seattle. The league's Board of Governors is expected to vote on the issue Wednesday. … The Pelicans said guard Eric Gordon had successful arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle. … The Timberwolves waived guard Brandon Roy, likely ending a career shortened by chronic knee problems.

Heat 104, Bulls 94

MIAMI (104): James 6-17 11-11 25, Haslem 2-3 0-0 4, Bosh 8-16 3-4 20, Chalmers 3-6 3-3 9, Wade 5-7 0-0 10, Battier 2-5 3-4 9, Allen 1-6 2-3 4, Cole 6-7 3-3 18, Andersen 2-3 1-2 5. Totals 35-70 26-30 104.

CHICAGO (94): Butler 6-12 3-3 17, Boozer 10-16 1-2 21, Noah 6-12 3-5 15, Robinson 5-13 6-8 17, Belinelli 5-13 2-4 16, Gibson 2-9 2-3 6, Teague 1-2 0-0 2, Mohammed 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 35-77 17-25 94.

Miami 25 27 18 34— 104

Chicago 25 25 20 24— 94

3-Point GoalsMiami 8-20 (Cole 3-3, James 2-4, Battier 2-5, Bosh 1-2, Chalmers 0-1, Allen 0-5), Chicago 7-22 (Belinelli 4-9, Butler 2-3, Robinson 1-7, Teague 0-1, Boozer 0-1, Gibson 0-1). Fouled OutBattier, Belinelli, Noah. ReboundsMiami 44 (Bosh 19), Chicago 45 (Noah 11). AssistsMiami 21 (James 7), Chicago 21 (Robinson 7). Total FoulsMiami 20, Chicago 30. TechnicalsJames, Mohammed, Noah. Ejected— Mohammed. A22,675 (20,917).

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