CHICAGO (AP) – 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.

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 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.

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 free throws badly, he stole a pass and found Gordon for a layup, making it 99-96.

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 to give Chicago 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 Dorell Wright added 17.

Miami’s James Posey was ejected after a hard flagrant foul on Luol Deng midway through the fourth. Deng stayed in the game after hitting the ground and holding his right wrist.

AP-ES-12-27-06 2320EST


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