CHICAGO — The Miami Heat's 27-game winning streak was snapped Wednesday night by the Chicago Bulls, 101-97, when a furious comeback by LeBron James and his teammates fell short.
The Heat finished six shy of the 33-game record held by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers.
Luol Deng scored 28 points, Carlos Boozer added 21 points and 17 rebounds, and the Bulls brought the Heat's pursuit of NBA history to a screeching halt.
Miami's superstar did all he could to keep the run going, scoring 32 points and even collecting a flagrant foul during a physical final few minutes.
The Heat hadn't lost since the Pacers beat them in Indianapolis on Feb. 1. But after grinding out some close wins lately, including a rally from 27 down in Cleveland, no one counted them out until the final buzzer.
For the better part of two months, they were the NBA's comeback kings. They erased seven double-digit deficits during the streak. They found themselves trailing in the fourth quarter 11 times, and won them all.
And when they walked off the floor in Chicago, faces were stoic as the Heat trudged toward the locker room. James turned and glared at one fan who grabbed at his head.
The Bulls, meanwhile, whooped and slapped hands with anyone they could reach.
It will go down as the second-longest winning streak in the history of American major pro sports. And some of those Lakers believed their time would pass as Miami's streak rolled along, with Jerry West among those saying that he believed the reigning champions had a real shot at pulling it off.
For whatever reason, the Heat were unbeatable for nearly two months.
And they won games in a number of different ways.
They blew out good teams like the Los Angeles Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder and the Bulls, then inexplicably struggled with lottery-bound Cleveland, Detroit, Sacramento, Charlotte and Orlando. They rallied from 13 points down in the final 8 minutes to beat Boston, from a 27-point third-quarter hole at Cleveland, and from 11-point deficits against Detroit and Charlotte — all those coming in a seven-day span, no less.