MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 29: Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls looks on during a game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on January 29, 2012 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
LeBron James and Derrick Rose each missed free throws in the final minute, but the Miami Heat held on for a 97-93 win over the Chicago Bulls.
The Chicago Bulls aren't used to seeing Derrick Rose come up empty in the fourth quarter, but that he did as the club fell to the Miami Heat 97-93 in South Beach on Sunday. The Bulls trailed by one as Rose had two free throws with 23 seconds left, but the reigning MVP missed them both. He missed a jumper with a chance to tie with less than five seconds left, allowing Chris Bosh to seal the Miami win from the line.
Rose had a big game overall, scoring 34 points with six assists and six rebounds, but shot just 11-28 from the floor and 0-4 on three-pointers. Rose took 14 free throws overall; the only two he missed were those in the final minute.
The game was remarkably even. The margin in each quarter was three points or fewer, and while Miami picked up a few brief double-digit leads and never trailed, it always seemed as if the game would come down a few possessions late, as it did.
LeBron James, who like Rose missed a pair of key free throws late, finished the game with 35 points on 12-23 shooting with 11 rebounds and five assists. Chris Bosh scored 24 points with 12 rebounds, thoroughly outplaying his counterpart Carlos Boozer (10 points, nine rebounds). Chicago was without Luol Deng, still nursing a torn ligament in his wrist.
In other action:
Cavaliers 88, Celtics 87: Kyrie Irving has the clutch unicorn. The rook hit a layup with less than three seconds left to lift surprising Cleveland over Boston on Sunday. The Cavs did well on the offensive and defensive glass and Alonzo Gee hit 8-9 free throws off the bench.
Pacers 106, Magic 85: Orlando continued its downward spiral, losing a third straight game, this one a blow-out at home. Dwight Howard shot just 4-15 from the line. It tied for the third-worst free throw shooting game in recorded NBA history for a player who took at least 15 attempts. Chris Dudley once went 1-18 (!) and Shaq has a 3-15 (to go with three 4-15 games) to his name. Danny Granger scored 24 points, and Darren Collison had a double-double with 11 points and 10 assists.