for this game

Wallace, Deng overshadow Wade as Bulls top Heat

Apr 22, 2007 - 1:32 AM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Dwyane Wade was all flash in the fourth quarter for the Miami Heat. But all the Chicago Bulls needed was a little dirty work from Ben Wallace.

Wallace did crucial work on the offensive glass in the waning seconds and Luol Deng scored 33 points as the Bulls held off the Heat's furious rally down the stretch en route to a 96-91 victory in Game One of their first-round playoff series.

Wallace grabbed 14 rebounds and Ben Gordon had 24 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds for Chicago, which was ousted by Miami in six games in a first-round series last season.

"I thought we did a nice job on the break," Chicago coach Scott Skiles said. "We had good spacing and moved the ball well. The game was played at a tempo that we like to play at.

"I wonder why we coughed up a nine-point lead so easily. Our guys always battle and play hard, we just made a few good plays at the end."

Heat center Shaquille O'Neal thought there was another factor.

"(The Bulls) did what they had to do to win," O'Neal said. "We have to get one now on Tuesday but (the Bulls) had help, they know they had help (with the referees)."

Trailing, 72-62, entering the final period, the Heat outscored the Bulls, 29-20, capped by Udonis Haslem's dunk off a great pass from Wade, to cut their deficit to 92-91 with 38 seconds left.

On the ensuing possession, Andres Nocioni missed a finger roll but Wallace was able to tip the rebound away to salvage the possession and force Miami to foul. Gordon made two free throws to make it 94-91 with 19 seconds left.

Wade then came up short on a forced 3-pointer from the left wing with 11 seconds remaining.

"I had a good look," Wade said. "Coach told me to use the glass but I didn't get to that angle to do it. I had a good look but I just came up a little short. I was trying to get space, and they loaded up to me early, and I didn't want to force shots. Late in the game, I got some shots after my teammates knocked down some shots."

The superstar guard and reigning NBA Finals MVP scored nine points in the fourth quarter on 4-of-6 shooting, taking the game over after O'Neal fouled out with 3:19 remaining.

"It is very frustrating," O'Neal said. "I wish they (referees) would have some more consistency with what they are doing out there. We had chances to win but things didn't work out that way."

Wallace negated Wade's stellar effort with his trademark hustle in his first playoff game with Chicago. However, he focused on his defensive work on O'Neal.

"We just want to play (O'Neal) honest," Wallace said. "He had 17 points and three assists in the first half. If he scores like that, we can't let him get other people involved."

Deng was nearly unstoppable, using a variety of moves en route to shooting 14-of-22 from the field.

"This game was really big, now we have a lead on them," Deng said. "When you lose Game One, you have to adjust. I think we can keep doing what we are doing because it is working."

Gordon fell just three rebounds shy of a triple-double and was 7-of-19 from the floor and 10-of-11 from the free-throw line for the Bulls, who shot 43 percent (35-of-82) from the field, including 3-of-17 from the arc, but outrebounded the Heat, 46-33.

"It was very important to get this game," Gordon said. "We have to get the second game here before we go to Miami. We did a nice job bouncing back from the other night (at New Jersey)."

Wade scored 21 points and O'Neal added 19 and six rebounds in just 26 minutes for Miami, which shot 42.5 percent (31-of-73).

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