Luol Deng leads Bulls to victory

Chicago Bulls 93, Dallas Mavericks 83
Chicago's Joakim Noah looks to pass under pressure from Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki. Chicago won to move 2 1/2 games ahead of Miami in the race for the East's top seed.



CHICAGO — Luol Deng scored 22 points, Richard Hamilton added 19 and the Chicago Bulls held off a fourth-quarter rally to beat the Dallas Mavericks 93-83 on Saturday night.

The victory by the Bulls (48-16) gave them a 2½ game lead over Miami for the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Chicago has two regular-season games left, against Indiana and Cleveland.

Bulls star guard Derrick Rose returned to the lineup after sitting out three games with a right foot/ankle injury and he had 11 points with eight assists in 32 minutes.

Dallas, which clinched a playoff berth Thursday night when Houston lost, was playing the second game of a back-to-back, so veteran guards Jason Kidd and Jason Terry sat out to rest.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 17 points and Rodrigue Beaubois, starting in place of Kidd, added 16 – 10 in the final quarter.



In Miami, LeBron James and Chris Bosh sat out the game, resting for the postseason. Dwyane Wade played and got hurt.

Wade lasted less than 3 minutes before dislocating his left index finger, and without its three stars, Miami lost to Washington.

Wade appeared to get his finger caught in another player’s jersey and immediately went to the locker room grimacing in pain.

A doctor reset Wade’s finger, which was swollen and in a splint after the game. X-rays were negative.



In Phoenix, Ty Lawson went 5 of 5 on 3-pointers and had 29 points and 10 assists as Denver clinched a playoff berth.

The Suns fell a half-game behind Utah for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Jazz played at home against Orlando on Saturday night. Phoenix plays at Utah on Tuesday and holds the tiebreaker over the Jazz.

Steve Nash of the Suns had 13 assists, nine in the first quarter, and passed Oscar Robertson into fifth place on the NBA’s career list.


76ERS 109, PACERS 106

In Indianapolis, Elton Brand scored 20 points and Lou Williams added 19 to help Philadelphia stop Indiana’s winning streak at seven games.

Jrue Holiday scored 17 points and Andre Iguodala added 16 for the 76ers, who inched closer to clinching a playoff berth. The 76ers left the game needing just a win or a loss by Milwaukee to clinch a spot.

David West had a season-high 32 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for Indiana.



In Houston, Courtney Lee scored 20 points, Goran Dragic added 18 points and seven assists and Houston snapped a six-game losing streak.

Luis Scola had 13 points and Chase Budinger added 11 for the Rockets, who came into the game in the 10th spot in the Western Conference, one game behind Utah and Phoenix.



In Memphis, Tenn., Rudy Gay scored 21 points and had a key block in the final seconds as Memphis won its fourth consecutive game.

Gay, who was 9 of 16 from the field, blocked Wesley Matthews’ 3-point attempt with about 5 seconds left to seal the win and send the Trail Blazers to their fifth consecutive loss.