James leads Heat to ninth victory in a row

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Miami's LeBron James drives past Chicago's Joakim Noah for two of his 26 points in the win.   NAM Y. HUH/ASSOCIATED PRESS
NAM Y. HUH/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Miami's LeBron James drives past Chicago's Joakim Noah for two of his 26 points in the win.

CHICAGO — LeBron James scored 26 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, and the Miami Heat beat the Chicago Bulls 86-67 Thursday for their season-high ninth consecutive win.

James also had seven assists in another big performance after seeing his franchise-record run of scoring at least 30 end at seven games the previous night in Atlanta.

Dwyane Wade added 17 points, and the Heat took control in the first half, sending the Bulls to their fifth loss in seven games on a night when the Derrick Rose recovery story took another twist.

Rose had to go into damage control mode after his older brother Reggie blasted the organization in an ESPNChicago.com article for not making a move before Thursday’s trade deadline.

BUSS MEMORIAL: Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant and Jerry West were among a host of basketball greats who gathered to remember the life and legacy of Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss.

They spoke at a memorial service held Thursday for Buss, who died this week at 80 after an 18-month struggle with cancer. The stage at the Nokia Theatre across from Staples Center was bedecked with all 10 of the NBA championship trophies won by the Lakers under Buss and more than 30 floral arrangements.

“He just looked at me and said, ‘Trust me,’ and I did and that took us to another level winning two championships,” Bryant said. “He had this ability to convince you to follow him.”

Johnson punctuated the 1 1/2-hour service by getting the audience on its feet, clapping and cheering for Buss. “He didn’t like it sad, he wanted it to be fun,” Johnson said.


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