Heat fight way past Bulls, earn season split

Published: Thursday, April 19 2012 11:49 p.m. MDT

MIAMI — LeBron James had 27 points and 11 rebounds, Dwyane Wade scored 18 points and Miami tightened up the race in the Eastern Conference by beating Chicago 83-72 in a scuffle-filled game Thursday night.

Mario Chalmers scored 16 points and Udonis Haslem grabbed 10 rebounds for Miami, which held the Bulls to a season-low point total and moved within 11/2 games of Chicago.

John Lucas scored 16 points for Chicago, which was again without reigning MVP Derrick Rose because of injuries. Joakim Noah scored 15 points, Luol Deng added 11 and Carlos Boozer had 10 for the Bulls, who split four games with Miami this season.

The teams combined for four technicals, two flagrant fouls and Miami reserve James Jones was ejected.

Chicago (47-16) has games with Dallas, Indiana and Cleveland left, while Miami (45-17) still has matchups with Washington (twice), Houston and Boston.

PACERS 118, BUCKS 109: At Indianapolis, Danny Granger scored 29 points to help Indiana clinch homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

George Hill had 22 points and eight assists and David West added 21 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists for the Pacers, who won their seventh straight and 11th of 12.

HORNETS 105, ROCKETS 99, OT: At New Orleans, Eric Gordon scored 27 points and Carl Landry had 20 points and 10 rebounds as New Orleans dealt a blow to Houston's playoff hopes by handing the Rockets their sixth straight loss.

Goran Dragic scored 23 points and Chase Budinger tied a season-high with 22 points for Houston (32-31), which dropped one game behind Utah (33-30).

TIMBERWOLVES 91, PISTONS 80: At Auburn Hills, Mich., Nikola Pekovic scored 23 points and Minnesota ended an 11-game losing streak.

SUNS 93, CLIPPERS 90: At Phoenix, Steve Nash hit a crucial driving layup, then made two free throws for the deciding points and the Suns bolstered their playoff hopes with an intense victory over the Clippers.

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