CHICAGO — Derrick Rose scored 26 points and Luol Deng added 20, including the tiebreaking 3-pointer, and the Chicago Bulls beat the Miami Heat 93-89 on Thursday night in a wild showdown between two of the Eastern Conference's top teams.
In a game that could have playoff seeding implications, the Bulls used a big third quarter to turn a nine-point halftime deficit into a 71-67 advantage, then watched a nine-point lead in the fourth evaporate into a four-point hole before pulling it out.
Deng's 3-pointer with 16 seconds left broke an 89-all tie and sent Chicago to its 16th win in 21 games.
Dwyane Wade scored 34 points and LeBron James added 29 for Miami, which got outrebounded 53-39 while losing for only the second time in 13 games. Both losses have come against teams also vying for the East's top seed — Boston beat them on Feb. 13, and the Bulls now own the head-to-head tiebreaker.
NUGGETS 89, CELTICS 75: At Denver, Kenyon Martin scored 18 points and newcomer Wilson Chandler chipped in 16 as the Nuggets closed the game with a 16-0 run to beat the shorthanded Celtics in a game pitting two teams that reshaped their rosters ahead of the NBA trade deadline. The Nuggets had a bunch of new players and the Celtics a bunch of empty seats on their bench following a flurry of trades. Denver played its first game with the five new players who came over in the blockbuster deal that sent star forward Carmelo Anthony and floor leader Chauncey Billups to the New York Knicks 48 hours earlier.
Paul Pierce, who led Boston with 17 points, hit a 3-pointer with 61/2 minutes left for a 75-73 lead, but the Celtics didn't score again.