The Miami Heat’s 27-game winning streak has come to an end after a devastating, 101-97 loss to the Chicago Bulls Wednesday night. The Bulls stepped up defensively and held off the Heat in the second half, ending their chase of the 1970-71 Los Angeles Lakers’ record 33 consecutive wins.
The Heat’s loss comes in Dwyane Wade’s return to the floor after missing two games due to a sore right knee. Wade finished with 18 points and seven rebounds while LeBron James led all scorers with 32 points.
The Bulls were without Joakim Noah for the third straight game due to a foot injury and star point guard Derrick Rose, who has been out the whole season and isn’t sure when he will return. Rose looked good in shootaround at the United Center early Wednesday but has yet to announce his comeback.
Luol Deng led the way for the Bulls, finishing with 28 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. The key moment of the game came late in the third quarter after the Heat erased the Bulls nine point halftime lead.
With the Heat losing 62-61, LeBron James threw up an airball, which turned into a Bulls fastbreak and ended when Jimmy Butler dunked over Chris Bosh off an alley-oop from Deng.
Here is a video of the dunk, though Lebron James’ airball is cut out:
Butler’s dunk brought the crowd to its feet as momentum shifted back into the Bulls favor going into the fourth quarter. Late in the fourth, LeBron James threw an elbow into Carlos Boozer’s chest and received a flagrant foul as frustration started to set in for the NBA’s leading MVP candidate.
Boozer attacked the boards all night and finished with a whopping 17 rebounds along with 21 points while Nate Robinson added 14 points off the bench. The Bulls have now won three straight games and have the next two days off before a meeting with the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday.
The Miami Heat’s 27-game win streak will go down as the second longest in NBA history, though the way they were playing made 33 games look very reachable. The Heat will look to start fresh in a meeting with the New Orleans Hornets on Friday before facing the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday.
The game in San Antonio had been targeted as a possible streak-killer for the Heat, but the Bulls beat the Spurs to the punch and rattled LeBron James in the process. The Miami Heat’s streak ends at 27 straight wins, and the focus now turns to the playoffs as they look to defend their NBA title.
[Image via Keith Allison]