MIAMI: Dwyane Wade made two clutch free throws in the final seconds to help lift the Chicago Bulls to a 98-95 win over his former team in his first game back in Miami.
Wade spent 13 seasons with the Heat before joining his hometown Bulls on a two-year deal worth an estimated $47 million. His return to Miami on Thursday night (Friday in Manila) marked his first visit to American Airlines Arena since his departure.
“What a game,” Wade said. “I am glad it is over, but more important I am glad we got a win.”
Wade finished with 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists in 32 minutes of playing time. But his two free throws with 13 seconds left on the clock helped seal the victory for the Bulls in front of a crowd of 19,600.
Jimmy Butler had 20 points and Robin Lopez and Rajon Rondo added 16 points each as the Bulls improved to 5-4.
Hassan Whiteside led Miami with 20 points and 20 rebounds. It was his sixth double-double in seven games this season.
Wade had seven points, three assists and three rebounds in the first half as the teams played to a 53-53 tie. There were 12 lead changes in the first half.
Through three quarters, it was a 70-70 tie. The teams went through 18 lead changes in the first three quarters.
The teams were so closely matched through three quarters that they even had the same shooting percentage — 41.5 percent on 27-for-65 from the floor.
Heat point guard Goran Dragic injured his left ankle in the third quarter when he came down on the foot of Chicago forward Doug McDermott. Dragic did not return and finished with six points and four assists in 22 minutes.
In Denver, Stephen Curry was back to his old self, hitting seven three-pointers en route to 33 points, and Golden State took an early lead and then coasted to a 125-101 win over the Denver Nuggets.
A week ago Curry went zero-for-10 in a 117-97 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
On Thursday, Curry also finished with seven assists and five rebounds in just 30 minutes and Klay Thompson scored 19 points.
Durant streak snapped
Kevin Durant had 18 points and saw his streak of scoring 20 or more points end at 72 straight games. It’s tied with Michael Jordan for the fourth longest in NBA history.
But Durant wasn’t bothered by the end of the streak.
“It really didn’t mean a thing for me,” he said. “I think it was cool for the fans to see, but for me I was going out there and doing what I’m supposed to do.
“It was cool while it lasted, up there with some great names, but I have bigger goals in mind.”
Rookie Jamal Murray had 14 points to lead the Nuggets, who were coming off a five-game road trip and playing just their second home game in the first three weeks of the season.
In Milwaukee, Anthony Davis scored 30 points as New Orleans won for the first time this season, beating Milwaukee Bucks 112-106 at the Bradley Center.
Davis hit 12-of-25 shots and went eight-for-eight from the free throw line while also grabbing eight rebounds.
He scored 12 of his points in the fourth quarter for the Pelicans, who shot 43.8 percent from the field.
The Pelicans dropped their first eight games of the season.