NBA roundup: Bulls, Heat win Christmas Day games – Los Angeles Times
Jimmy Butler scored 23 points, Pau Gasol had 21 points and 13 rebounds and the Chicago Bulls defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder, 105-96, on Friday.
Derrick Rose added 19 points while Taj Gibson contributed 13 points and 10 rebounds to help the Bulls snap a three-game losing streak.
Kevin Durant had 29 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for Oklahoma City, and Russell Westbrook added 26 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. The Thunder had won three straight and nine of 10.
The Bulls led by 18 at the end of the third quarter. Oklahoma City changed things up and played Anthony Morrow and Enes Kanter with Durant, Westbrook and Serge Ibaka for most of the fourth quarter. The unit played well, but the Thunder got no closer than six.
Oklahoma City shot 38.5% from the field, its third-worst showing of the season.
Chicago led 51-37 with 4:58 left in the first half, but the Thunder cut it to 54-52 at halftime. Durant scored 19 points in the half, and Westbrook had 12 points and five assists. All five assists were in the second quarter.
Gasol and Butler each had 11 points in the first half for the Bulls.
Chicago scored the first eight points of the second half to go up 62-52 and force the Thunder to call a timeout. The Bulls led 86-68 at the end of the third quarter.
A pair of three-pointers by Morrow cut Chicago’s lead to 97-89 with just under 5 minutes to play, but the Bulls hung on.
Heat 94, Pelicans 88
Chris Bosh scored 30 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Dwyane Wade added 19 points, and the Heat survived some shaky moments to beat New Orleans in overtime.
The win was Miami’s seventh consecutive on Christmas and moved the Heat to an NBA-best 10-2 all-time on the holiday.
Hassan Whiteside had 17 rebounds for Miami, which is 9-1 against teams from the Western Conference — and only 8-10 against Eastern Conference opponents.
Anthony Davis was stellar in his Christmas debut, leading the Pelicans with 29 points and 15 rebounds. But he missed a contested jumper on New Orleans’ final possession of regulation, and the Heat controlled the extra session.
Ryan Anderson scored 18 points, including a tip-in with 1:45 left in regulation that gave New Orleans its first lead, and Eric Gordon finished with 16 for the Pelicans. Gordon’s four-point play with 31 seconds left in overtime got New Orleans within four, but they got no closer.
The Heat had 18 turnovers in the game — and New Orleans scored on only one of them. Miami outrebounded the Pelicans 57-45.
Davis had more points than his teammates combined in the first half, the reason why New Orleans still had a shot.
New Orleans’ largest first-half deficit was 13 points, which was trimmed to 42-38 going into intermission after Davis’ follow-slam closed the scoring. He had 20 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three blocks at the break — according to STATS, no player had done that in any half since at least the start of the 2002-03 season.
Friday’s game started a Miami’s first and only stretch of four contests in five days this season. The Heat play 26 times in 47 days going into the All-Star break.