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Lebron James scored 26 points and Dwyane wade added 17 as the Miami Heat crushed the Chicago Bulls 86-67 at the Untied Center for their 9th straight win. The king turned in another impressive shooting performance making 11/15 (73%) from the field while posting team highs of 12 rebounds and 7 assists. Wade was 8/15 (53%) along with 8 rebounds and 5 assists. Chris Bosh contributed 12 for the defending champions, who shot 51% from the floor overall and recorded 14 steals despite committing 19 turnovers. The Bulls were outscored 41-32 in the second half and managed just 45 points over the final three quarters led by Nate Robinson's 14 points. Carlos Boozer added 12 along with 11 rebounds and Joakim Noah contributed 11 along with 8 rebounds and a team high 8 assists. Chicago shot just 37% overall including a dismal 2/10 (20%) from 3 point range and committed a season high 28 turnovers despite outrebounding Miami 39-36. The win made Miami look more poised than ever looking to defend last year's NBA title. They blew out OKC before the All Star break and scored 40 points in the 4th quarter Tuesday night coming back from a 15 point 3rd quarter deficit to upend Atlanta. Meanwhile the loss left Chciago 2 games behind idle Indiana with a sudden controversial twist. After saying last week that he wouldn't rush back from his knee injury to play this season if he wasn't ready, Derrick Rose had to go into damage control mode after his older brother Reggie blasted the organization in an ESPNChicago.com article for not making a move before Thursday's trade deadline. Rose, recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, found himself at the center of attention after his brother went off, and he wound up releasing this statement in response: "I have always felt that the Bulls organization's goals have been the same as mine and that is to bring another championship to this city." That comment came after Reggie Rose ripped the Bulls, telling ESPNChicago.com they don't have the talent to compete for a championship and that their decision to stand pat before the trade deadline could be a "big factor" in whether Derrick plays at all this season. Miami improved to 38-14 on the season 9 games ahead of the Hawks while Chicago fell to 31-23 2 games behind the Pacers.
Tony Parker scored 31 points in just 28 minutes and Danny Green added 15 as the San Antonio Spurs lit up the LA Clippers 116-90 at the Staples Center. Parker sat out the tail end of the third and all of the 4th quarter converting 12/16 (75%) from the field while knocking down all 7 of his free throw attempts. Parker and Green each dished out a team high 7 assists, while Tiago Splitter and Manu Ginobli contributed 10 points apiece. The Spurs took advantage of some shoty defense by the Clippers making 50% of their shots from the floor including 8/17 (47%) from 3 point range. They also sank 22/28 (79%) from the charity stripe, outrebounded LA 34-33 and recorded 30 assists despite committing 19 turnovers. Matt Barnes led the Clippers with 18 points off the bench and Blake Griffin added 17 along with 8 rebounds. Jamal Crawford contributed 15 along with 6 assists and 3 steals, but Chris Paul was virtually a non-factor because of foul trouble making just 1/6 (17%) and finishing with 4 points, 3 assists and 5 fouls in 27 minutes. The Spurs led all the way in beating the Clippers for the first time this season and improving to an NBA-best 22-10 on the road, where they've also won five in a row. The Clippers have lost their first game coming out of the break in nine of the last 10 years, including five in a row. They came in trailing the Spurs by 4 1/2 games for the best record in the NBA, but they never got a run going and their defense didn't do much. The biggest excitement during the game was generated by a fan who made a half-court shot during a timeout to win a new car. SA improved to a league best 44-12 7.5 games ahead of Memphis while LA fell to 39-18 with still a comfortable 6.5 game lead ahead of Golden State.