Bulls improve East edge, top Heat in OT

CHICAGO — C.J. Watson scored 16, including the tying 3-pointer at the end of regulation, and the Bulls, despite a poor shooting night from returning star Derrick Rose, pulled away in overtime to beat the Heat 96-86 Thursday night.

Carlos Boozer scored 19 to lead the Bulls, who outscored Miami 12-2 in overtime to boost their lead in the Eastern Conference to four games over Miami and maintain the best record in the league (45-14).

LeBron James scored 30 for Miami but missed a free throw that would have made it a two-possession game late in regulation. Dwyane Wade added 21 points, but missed a shot at the end of regulation as the Heat lost for the sixth time in 11 games.

Rose scored just two points and hit 1 of 13 shots. He returned from a 12-game absence (groin) Sunday only to sprain his right ankle and sit out Tuesday.

Before the game, Wade praised the Bulls: "Yeah, we're the Eastern Conference champs, and you have to knock down the champs, but at the same time we're still chasing a team who has gotten better from last year, a team who is the best in the NBA right now.''

Pride will do for Wade: The Heat's Wade said money is not his motivation for the London Games. In a statement, the guard tried to clarify his remarks from Wednesday, "I do not want to be paid to go to the Olympics." He had been quoted as saying he believes "guys should be compensated" and noted the Olympic schedule demands. He said he was responding to a question about Olympians being paid and never said he needed to be paid. Wade tweeted Thursday that pride for his country "motivates me more than any $$$ amount."

Love's status uncertain: Timberwolves All-Star Kevin Love sat out against the Clippers, and coach Rick Adelman said it was too soon to tell if Love would return this season. Love was to have further evaluation after spending the night in a Denver hospital. He suffered a mild concussion and a neck strain when Nuggets forward JaVale McGee elbowed him in the head Wednesday.

Kings Arena Saga: About two dozen of Sacramento's most powerful business leaders asked commissioner David Stern and league owners to "strongly encourage" the Maloof family to sell the Kings so a deal for a new arena can proceed.

Game highlights: Blake Griffin had 19 points and 13 rebounds, and Mo Williams had 14 points and five assists in his return from a sprained big toe as the visiting Clippers beat the Timberwolves 95-82. … Tim Duncan had 28 points and 12 rebounds as the host Spurs topped the Grizzlies 107-97.

Around the league: Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge will have surgery on his right hip and miss the rest of the season.

Bulls 96, Heat 86 OT

MIAMI (86): L.James 11-24 5-7 30, Bosh 8-16 4-6 20, Haslem 2-2 0-0 4, Chalmers 2-7 0-1 4, Wade 10-21 1-2 21, Miller 1-9 0-0 3, Battier 1-2 0-0 2, Turiaf 0-0 0-0 0, Anthony 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 36-82 10-16 86.

CHICAGO (96): Deng 6-13 1-4 16, Boozer 9-19 1-2 19, Noah 1-3 3-4 5, Rose 1-13 0-0 2, Hamilton 3-6 0-0 7, Watson 6-10 2-4 16, Gibson 4-9 3-3 11, Asik 0-2 0-0 0, Brewer 1-2 1-2 3, Korver 6-8 0-0 17, Butler 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 37-86 11-19 96.

Miami 22 19 21 22 2— 86

Chicago 19 17 24 24 12— 96

3-Point GoalsMiami 4-11 (L.James 3-6, Miller 1-3, Chalmers 0-1, Bosh 0-1), Chicago 11-22 (Korver 5-6, Deng 3-5, Watson 2-5, Hamilton 1-2, Brewer 0-1, Rose 0-3). Fouled OutGibson. ReboundsMiami 55 (Turiaf, Bosh 8), Chicago 54 (Boozer 11). AssistsMiami 17 (L.James 5), Chicago 26 (Watson 9). Total FoulsMiami 16, Chicago 15. A23,015 (20,917).

Clippers 95, Wolves 82

L.A. CLIPPERS (95): Butler 6-13 0-0 17, Griffin 9-16 1-5 19, Jordan 2-4 0-0 4, Paul 3-8 1-1 8, Foye 4-14 0-0 11, Martin 4-4 0-0 8, Young 3-11 3-4 10, M.Williams 6-11 0-0 14, Bledsoe 2-8 0-0 4, Evans 0-0 0-0 0, Thompkins 0-1 0-0 0, Simmons 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 39-91 5-10 95.

MINNESOTA (82): Johnson 1-6 2-2 4, D.Williams 1-7 1-2 4, Pekovic 6-12 5-8 17, Barea 4-9 0-0 10, Webster 3-8 3-3 10, Beasley 6-15 2-4 14, Randolph 7-12 2-3 16, Lee 2-6 0-0 5, Tolliver 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 31-77 15-22 82.

L.A. Clippers 21 26 26 22— 95

Minnesota 26 22 20 14— 82

3-Point GoalsClippers 12-31 (Butler 5-8, Foye 3-8, M.Williams 2-4, Paul 1-2, Young 1-5, Simmons 0-1, Bledsoe 0-3), Minnesota 5-21 (Barea 2-4, Lee 1-3, D.Williams 1-3, Webster 1-4, Tolliver 0-1, Beasley 0-3, Johnson 0-3). Fouled OutNone. Rebounds Clippers 55 (Griffin 13), Minnesota 55 (Beasley 10). AssistsClippers 22 (Paul 8), Minnesota 20 (Barea 11). Total FoulsClippers 22, Minnesota 12. TechnicalsClippers Bench, Minnesota Coach Adelman. A16,016.

Pistons 109, Bobcats 85

DETROIT (109): Prince 3-14 0-0 6, Maxiell 8-8 1-2 17, Monroe 11-14 3-4 25, Knight 8-12 2-2 21, Stuckey 2-7 5-5 9, Wallace 0-1 0-0 0, Jerebko 2-6 1-2 5, Gordon 1-3 6-6 9, Bynum 4-6 0-0 9, Wilkins 3-5 0-0 6, Villanueva 1-4 0-0 2, Russell Jr. 0-1 0-0 0, Daye 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 43-82 18-21 109.

CHARLOTTE (85): Brown 6-11 0-0 13, Mullens 2-5 1-2 6, Biyombo 3-8 3-4 9, Augustin 4-10 4-5 13, Henderson 4-9 0-2 8, White 5-9 2-2 12, Walker 3-8 2-2 9, Carroll 1-3 0-0 3, Williams 3-5 0-0 7, Diop 0-1 0-0 0, Higgins 0-1 5-6 5. Totals 31-70 17-23 85.

Detroit 22 30 40 17— 109

Charlotte 18 22 22 23— 85

3-Point GoalsDetroit 5-13 (Knight 3-4, Bynum 1-1, Gordon 1-2, Stuckey 0-2, Villanueva 0-2, Prince 0-2), Charlotte 6-11 (Carroll 1-1, Williams 1-1, Brown 1-1, Mullens 1-2, Augustin 1-3, Walker 1-3). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsDetroit 51 (Monroe 11), Charlotte 36 (Mullens 6). AssistsDetroit 28 (Stuckey, Knight 7), Charlotte 22 (Augustin 5). Total FoulsDetroit 25, Charlotte 15. A10,828.

Spurs 107, Grizzlies 97

MEMPHIS (97): Gay 7-22 5-7 19, Speights 5-10 5-5 15, Gasol 5-8 4-6 14, Conley 4-12 2-2 11, Pondexter 1-3 0-0 2, Randolph 4-10 2-2 10, Mayo 5-9 3-5 16, Arenas 3-6 0-0 6, Cunningham 2-5 0-0 4, Pargo 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 36-85 21-27 97.

SAN ANTONIO (107): Leonard 2-5 2-2 6, Duncan 10-15 8-11 28, Blair 1-3 0-0 2, Parker 5-12 3-5 13, Green 3-9 2-2 10, Bonner 3-8 0-0 7, Ginobili 4-9 11-11 20, Jackson 2-5 0-0 5, Splitter 2-2 0-0 4, Neal 3-5 0-0 7, Diaw 2-3 0-0 5. Totals 37-76 26-31 107.

Memphis 21 28 25 23— 97

San Antonio 27 18 37 25— 107

3-Point GoalsMemphis 4-19 (Mayo 3-4, Conley 1-5, Randolph 0-1, Cunningham 0-1, Speights 0-1, Pondexter 0-1, Arenas 0-3, Gay 0-3), San Antonio 7-20 (Green 2-5, Neal 1-1, Diaw 1-1, Jackson 1-2, Ginobili 1-4, Bonner 1-6, Leonard 0-1). Fouled OutMayo. ReboundsMemphis 50 (Randolph 11), San Antonio 49 (Duncan 12). AssistsMemphis 15 (Conley, Gay 4), San Antonio 19 (Parker 9). Total FoulsMemphis 25, San Antonio 21. A18,581.

Bulls improve East edge, top Heat in OT 04/13/12 [Last modified: Friday, April 13, 2012 1:34am]

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