Friday, February 15, 2008
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Hinrich Leads Bulls Over Heat 99-92

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[February 15, 2008]  CHICAGO (AP) -- Kirk Hinrich scored 24 points to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 99-92 victory over Miami on Thursday night and send the Heat to their 24th loss in 25 games despite solid outings by Dwyane Wade and Shawn Marion.

Wade scored 30 after pouring in 29 in Tuesday's overtime loss to Denver. Marion had 23 in his third game with Miami since the deal that sent Shaquille O'Neal to Phoenix. But it wasn't enough to prevent the Heat from dropping their ninth straight.

Two years after winning the NBA championship, Miami staggered into the All-Star break with just nine wins, and the latest loss was to a team that has had more than its share of problems.

The Bulls saw a nine-point lead early in the fourth dwindle to 82-81 on a drive by Wade with just under five minutes left, but they hung on.

It was 89-87 after the Heat's Marcus Banks, the other player in the Shaq deal, buried an open 3-pointer. But Hinrich hit a jumper as he crashed to the floor to make it a four-point game with about 2:15 left. Thabo Sefolosha then hit two free throws and poked the ball away from Wade.

The Heat fell on the loose ball and called time. Chicago's Tyrus Thomas deflected the inbounds and then hit 1 of 2 free throws to make it 94-87 with 1:43 remaining.

Hinrich, who came off the bench for the second straight game after missing three with bruised ribs, scored nine points in the fourth quarter.

Joe Smith had 19 points and 11 rebounds for Chicago and Andres Nocioni scored 18. Sefolosho added 17 points and 12 rebounds. The Bulls also got 10 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks from Thomas, who started in Ben Wallace's place. Wallace missed the game because of a death in his family.

[Associated Press; By ANDREW SELIGMAN]

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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