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Miami gets bling, holds off Chicago

Ringing opener

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013 12:18 a.m.áCST

BY TIM REYNOLDS

AP Basketball Writer

MIAMI – They got their rings before the game, then a challenge as it was winding down.

The Miami Heat responded to both.

Shane Battier went 4-for-4 from 3-point range, including a critical one from the right corner with 1:33 remaining, and the Heat wasted most of what was a 25-point lead. But they held off Derrick Rose and theáBullsá107-95 on Tuesday night in the season opener for both teams.

LeBron James had 17 points, eight assists and six rebounds for Miami, which got its 2013 NBA championship rings and raised the franchise’s third banner in a pregame ceremony. The Heat trailed 9-2 early, then outscored Chicago 52-24 over the remainder of the first half.

Rose finished with 12 points in 34 minutes in his first game since a serious knee injury in April 2012. Carlos Boozer had 31 points and seven rebounds for Chicago, which got within eight points in the final minutes.

But Battier’s 3 from the right corner – a staple for the Heat – snuffed out the comeback, and Miami wasn’t in trouble again.

“We’re not trying to pull close. There were a lot of corrections that we have to make,”áBullsácoach Tom Thibodeau said. “It always comes back to the same thing – our defense and our rebounding. And if we could have taken better care of the ball early on, we would have been in position to win down the stretch.”

Chris Bosh scored 16 points, Battier finished with 14, and Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers both had 13 for Miami, which had seven players score in double figures. Ray Allen and Norris Cole each scored 11 for the Heat.

Rose shot 4-for-15.

“I think we had a lot to do with it,” Allen said.

“If anything, I’m disappointed in the loss,” Rose said. “My performance, I can easily change that by making shots and keep down the turnovers.”

By halftime, Miami was rolling, up 54-33 – putting the game on pace for a 108-66 final, which would have exactly matched the score of the game in 2006 when Chicago came into Miami and spoiled the Heat franchise’s first ring night.

Not this time, although theáBullsámade it plenty interesting down the stretch.

Chicago cut the lead to 95-87 on a drive by Boozer with 2:47 left. It would get no closer, and James raved about Miami’s balance.

“It’s a team game,” James said. “That’s what this team is put together for.”

Rose’s start was promising early, with two drives for impressive scores. TheáBullsáled 15-10 when Rose checked out for the first time with 3:36 left in the opening quarter.

When he returned, the lead was gone for good. The Heat outscored theáBullsá13-3 in Rose’s first stint on the bench, turning a five-point lead into a five-point deficit, and by then the Heat were off and running.

Over a 4-minute stretch of the second quarter, everything changed.

Rose’s surgically repaired knee might be fine, but in the basketball vernacular, Cole broke the ankles of the 2011 NBA MVP – starting a run that turned what was a tight game into a romp.

Cole faked out Rose on the dribble, causing theáBulls’ star to tumble over, and the Heat reserve connected on an 18-foot jumper that sent the Miami bench leaping from its seats.

That began the 17-0 run. TheáBullsámissed nine straight shots, Rose getting blocked by Bosh on one, and the Heat went to work. Miami shot 7-for-10 during the burst, which was capped by a driving layup by James with 4:23 left, and suddenly the Heat led 41-20.

It was a runaway, and became a grind-it-out win.

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