<
>

Heat edge Bulls with sharp foul shooting

CHICAGO (AP) -- Dwyane Wade would rather play anywhere else. He
can't seem to get his game going in his hometown.

"Just get it back to Miami," said Wade, who went to high
school in suburban Oak Lawn. "Out in Chicago I never play good. I
have a long career ahead of me, so one day I will get one good game
in."

On Saturday, he scored 13 of his 15 points on free throws and
Antoine Walker added 13 points off the bench in the Miami Heat's
85-84 victory over the Bulls.

Wade who shot 59 percent in his last five games and averaged
34.4 points, shot 1-for-8 from the field and had 10 turnovers, but
was 13-for-13 from the line.

Wade and Shaquille O'Neal had to battle through foul problems
the entire game.

O'Neal finished with 13 points and five rebounds and Jason
Williams added 12 points for Miami, who have won 14 of its last 15
games and four in a row.

Trailing 81-77 with 4:59 left, Wade hit four three throws in a
row to get the Heat within 82-81 with 3:59 left. After Andres
Nocioni made 1-of-2 on the line, James Posey hit a 3 to give the
Heat 84-83 lead with 2:59 left.

Michael Sweetney made 1-of-2 on the line to tie the game at 84,
but after an over the back foul on Nocioni, Payton hit 1-of-2 free
throws to give the Heat the decisive lead at 85-84 with 2:17 left.

"It was a weird game. There was ugly shooting and a lot of
turnovers and mistakes and we were just fortunate to get the win,"
O'Neal said. "I should have done better but it was just a very
ugly and weird game."

The Bulls had several chances to take the lead. Sweetney missed
a short jumper with 46 seconds left and Luol Deng's base line
jumper to win the game rimmed out as time expired.

The play was originally designed for Ben Gordon, but the Heat
ran a double team out at him as soon as he got the ball.

"We wanted it in Ben's [Gordon] hands. We went to our go to
play. They played it well. We got a good shot and that's all you
can ask for," Chris Duhon said.

Miami head coach Pat Riley didn't want Gordon to take the last
shot for Chicago.

"We were fortunate that he [Deng] missed the shot. We didn't
want Gordon to beat us," said Riley.

Deng finished with 19 points and Kirk Hinrich had 15 points and
seven assists for Chicago.

"I thought we played very tough, pretty much all the way thru
to the end. I thought we did a way above average job on Shaq and
Dwyane," Bulls coach Scott Skiles said. "We had the ball in our
hands down by the basket and could not come up with them."

Trailing 77-71, Chicago scored 10 straight points. Hinrich hit a
3 to start the run and then after Wade picked up his fifth foul
with 7:03 left in the game, Deng made a driving layup over O'Neal.
Hinrich hit his second 3 in the span to give Chicago a 81-77 lead
with 4:59 left.

Wade stayed in game despite picking up his fifth foul and O'Neal
picked up his fifth foul with 3:49 left and stayed in the game.

O'Neal and Wade struggled with foul problems all game. But as
soon as O'Neal returned to start the fourth quarter the Heat went
right to O'Neal. He first scored on an inbounds play, then after
making 1-of-2 from the line, Walker found O'Neal for a thunderous
alley-oop dunk that O'Neal put down with one hand to give the Heat
a 74-68 lead. After Duhon's 3 for Chicago, Walker answered with
another 3, giving Miami a 77-71 lead.

O'Neal picked up his fourth foul with 8:00 left in the third
quarter and Wade was called for his fourth foul two minutes later.

Wade and O'Neal had only one field goal between them in the
half. Wade was 0-for-2 in the half and O'Neal was 1-for-4.

The Heat made eight of their first 11 field goal attempts to
take a 21-14 lead midway in the first quarter, but cooled off,
going 5-for-22 the rest of the first half. The Heat led 48-47 at
the half. Payton led the Heat with nine points in the half.

Deng and Nocioni both scored 11 points for Chicago in the first
half.

Game notes
Before the game, The Bulls remembered Ray Meyer with a
moment of silence. Meyer, who died at 92 on Friday. He coached 42
years at DePaul, a few miles from the Bulls' arena. ... The Bulls
wore green uniforms in honor of a belated St. Patrick's Day. ...
Wade was issued a technical for mocking official Mark Wunderlich's
foul call against Wade in the second quarter. O'Neal was called for
a flagrant foul in the second quarter. Both Wade and O'Neal had
three fouls in the first half. ... Malik Allen finished with 12
points and Nocioni had 14 points and 12 rebounds for Chicago. ...
The Heat shot 38 free throws to the Bulls' 17 attempts. Chicago was
just 9-for-17 from the line. ... Miami started a stretch where it
plays four road games in five days.