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Gordon's career night helps lead Bulls to victory

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Gordon's career night helps lead Bulls to victory
Chicago Bulls' Ben Gordon, right, drives to the basket against Miami Heat's Jason Kapono during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game in Chicago Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2006. The Bulls won, 109-103.(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
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CHICAGO —- Ben Gordon scored a career-high 40 points off the bench to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 109-103 victory Wednesday night over the short-handed Miami Heat, who lost Dwyane Wade to a sprained wrist in the first quarter.

Gordon became the first Bulls player to score 40 points in a game since Michael Jordan also had 40 on April 5, 1998, at Houston. Andres Nocioni added 16 for Chicago, which recovered after blowing a 20-point lead.

The Heat played most of the game without Wade, who sprained his right wrist midway through the first. It appeared he got hurt coming off a screen while covering Kirk Hinrich.

Wade initially stayed in the game, but came out after the next timeout. He went to the locker room for X-rays, which were negative, and didn’t return for precautionary reasons.

Wade, from suburban Chicago, has had very little luck back home. He came in averaging just 13.8 points in six regular-season games at the United Center.

Chicago, coming off a two-point loss in Minnesota on Tuesday night, took a 97-96 lead when Ben Wallace hit a free throw with 2:49 left. After Wallace missed two foul shots badly, he stole a pass and found Gordon for a layup to make it 99-96.

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Udonis Haslem came back for Miami with a tip, and Jason Williams hit a jumper to give the Heat a 100-99 lead with 1:26 left.

Then, Gordon and the Bulls finally took control. Gordon, off balance and hit hard in the lane, converted a three-point play for a 102-100 lead. Jason Kapono missed a long 3-pointer and Tyrus Thomas was fouled on the other end. He made two free throws to make it 104-100 with 24.5 seconds left.

Williams scored 28 points for Miami, and Kapono had 18. Dorell Wright added 17, and Haslem finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Hinrich had 14 points and five assists for Chicago. Wallace added nine points and 11 rebounds.

The Heat came all the way back from a 20-point deficit and took an 87-85 lead on Williams’ 3-pointer with 7:54 left.

Gordon came back with a jumper and Luol Deng had what looked to be an easy dunk for the Bulls, but he was taken down from behind by James Posey.

Posey was ejected immediately. Deng stayed in the game after laying on the floor for a few minutes holding his right wrist. Deng hit one of two free throws to give Chicago an 88-87 lead with 7:16 remaining.

Posey was called for a flagrant foul, and Haslem and Hinrich were issued technical fouls for jawing at each other after the play.

At first, the Heat looked lost without Wade, who was coming off a dazzling performance against the Lakers on Christmas. Chicago outscored Miami 17-2 to start the second quarter, taking a 41-23 lead. Gordon scored 15 points in the period on 5-of-8 shooting.

Miami came back in the third and got within four late in the quarter. Michael Doleac hit a jumper and Kapono followed with a 3 to pull to 70-66 with 2:54 left.

Early in the fourth, Chris Quinn hit a 3 to get the Heat to 80-78. Williams then made three straight 3s, giving the Heat an 87-85 lead with 7:55 to go.

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