O'Neal strained his left knee in the opening minutes of Miami's
105-101 overtime loss to Chicago on Tuesday night after he went up
for an alley-oop pass from Dwyane Wade and fell on the Bulls'
O'Neal stayed on the floor for several minutes holding his knee
before being helped off the floor. X-rays were negative and he'll
be re-evaluated before the Heat's game Wednesday night in Indiana.
The Bulls took advantage of O'Neal's absence as Ben Gordon hit
five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and overtime and scored 29
Gordon hit three 3-pointers and scored 11 points in the fourth
quarter to help the Bulls end Miami's winning streak at seven
games. The former Connecticut star has scored 10 or more points in
the fourth quarter of an NBA-high 15 games this season.
"I take a lot of pride in it," Gordon said. "It is not really
something I say to myself, I'm going to hit every big shot, it sort
of happens that way," Gordon said.
After Eddie Jones tied it for the Heat at the buzzer in
regulation, scoring off a teammates airball, Gordon scored the
first eight points in the overtime period.
His second 3-pointer in overtime put the Bulls up 100-92 with
2:11 left in overtime. Wade and Eddie Jones hit back-to-back 3s for
the Heat to cut Chicago's lead to two points.
After Deng hit a pair of free throws and Gordon hit one, Damon
Jones hit a 3 for Miami cutting the Chicago lead to 103-101 with
13.8 seconds left. Chris Duhon then hit one of two free throws,
making it 104-101. Damon Jones had a chance to tie it for the Heat,
but missed a 3 with 7 seconds left.
Wade had 21 points, 11 assists and six rebounds for Miami, and
Damon Jones added 18 points and eight rebounds
With the Bulls trailing 86-77, Gordon took over. The Bulls
outscored the Heat 15-6 to end the game. Gordon had 11 of those
He hit a jumper to start the run, then hit a 3 to cut the Heat
lead to 88-84. After Shandon Anderson hit a jumper to put the Heat
up 90-86, Gordon followed with back-to-back 3s, the first one he
banked in and the second one was over the 6-foot-8 Udonis Haslem,
giving the Bulls a 92-90 lead with 39.2 seconds left.
"I called glass. I don't know if everybody heard it though. I
sort of said it to myself," Gordon said.
Wade was impressed what Gordon was able to do down the stretch.
"He was unbelievable. He hit some great shots," Wade said.
"If they don't go in some people might say they're bad shots, but
they went in so they're good shots."
Gordon shot just 2-of-8 in the first half.
Even minus Shaq the Heat never gave in.
The Bulls had a chance to secure victory in regulation, but Wade
blocked Kirk Hinrich's shot with 3.1 seconds left with the shot
clock winding down. After a timeout, Damon Jones forced up a
jumper, which was an airball, but Eddie Jones caught the ball and
shot it in just before the buzzer sending the game in overtime tied
"This is what everybody wanted," Damon Jones said. "Everybody
wanted to see Shaq go down, Dwyane go down. We got 12 guys, 11 guys
in here that are hungry to get the job done. We want Shaq to get
healthy as soon as possible, but we have a job to do."
Eddy Curry added 16 points for Chicago, and Luol Deng scored 14
points. The Bulls have won four straight and 17 of 22.
Nobody on the Bulls is surprised anymore by the clutch
performances of Gordon.
"I see it all the time, I see it in practice and I have seen it
consistently throughout the year," Chandler said.
With O'Neal out and Michael Doleac in foul trouble, Miami coach
Stan Van Gundy had to go with Wang Zhi-Zhi, who has been sparingly
Wang scored back-to-back baskets to give the Heat a 69-62 lead
late in the third quarter. He finished with six points in 20
Eddie Jones added 15 for Miami, and Haslem had 13 points. Both
had nine rebounds.<
^Notes:@ Wade hit a shot from mid-court at the end of the second
quarter, but it was waved off after the officials reviewed the
play. ... Bulls coach Scott Skiles was called for a technical foul
in the third quarter.
Miami Heat center Shaquille O'Neal left the Heat's game against Chicago tonight after landing awkwardly on Bulls forward Othella Harrington.