The Miami Heat were looking to avoid a four-game losing streak as they hosted the 1-4 Chicago Bulls at the American Airlines Arena. The Bulls, on the other hand, were coming off a huge 101-69 blowout loss that was handed to them by Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Bulls were without Kay Felder (coach’s decision) for that game, along with Bobby Portis (suspended), Zach LaVine (knee), Antonio Blakeney (G-League), Ryan Arcidiacono (G-League), Cameron Payne (right foot), and Nikola Mirotic (face). The Heat played without Udonis Haslem (coach’s decision), James Johnson (coach’s decision), Jordan Mickey (coach’s decision), AJ Hammons (G-League), Matt Williams (G-League), Derrick Walton (G-League), and Rodney McGruder (leg).
The Florida team opened things up well as they shot forty-eight percent from the field in the first quarter while the Chicago Bulls shot thirty-two percent. Both Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside would score seven points each while they both shot sixty percent in the first quarter. Whiteside ended up connecting for his second three-pointer of his career while pulling down one offensive rebound and eight defensive rebounds. Dragic also knocked down a three-pointer while dishing off two assists.
Dion Waiters would contribute with four points as he shot only thirty-three percent from the field, giving out five assists in the process. Josh Richardson played for eight minutes but was limited to only a three-pointer and one defensive rebound. Okaro White was also held to just a three-pointer but he did manage to get ahold of two defensive rebounds.
As for the Bulls, Lauri Markkanen, Robin Lopez, and Cristiano Felicio would end up being held to just four points each. Markkanen did, however, crash the boards for five defensive rebounds while committing one steal. Lopez ended up pulling down one offensive rebound and one defensive rebound while Felicio grabbed one defensive rebound. Denzel Valentine came off of the bench to drill a three-pointer as Kris Dunn chalked up two points. Jerian Grant was held scoreless but he would grab one defensive rebound while dishing off one assist but it was the home team who ended the first quarter with a 27 to 17 lead.
The Illinois team would respond back as they go on a 30 to 22 run in the second period, shooting fifty-two percent from the field while holding the Heat to a low thirty-nine percent. Markkanen heated up for thirteen points while shooting eighty-three percent from the field. He connected for a three-pointer in the process while pulling down one offensive rebound. Lopez shot a perfect one-hundred percent from the field as he gathered up eight points to go along with the two defensive rebounds that he pulled down.
Valentine would continue to struggle off the bench as he shoots only twenty-five percent from the field while scoring two points. He did, however, pull down two defensive rebounds while Dunn chalked up five points off the bench. Dunn also collected one defensive rebound and one assist while Justin Holiday was limited to just a free-throw. David Nwaba played seven minutes only to be held scoreless but he did record three defensive rebounds.
Former Celtics’ center Kelly Olynyk would come off of the Miami bench to chalk up eight points, earning three of them from beyond the arc. He pulled down two defensive rebounds while Whiteside was held to just four points in the seven minutes that he played. Hassan Whiteside would collect one offensive rebound and two defensive rebounds in the process. Goran Dragic, Tyler Johnson, and Justise Winslow would each be held to just two points and one rebound as the Miami Heat went into halftime with a tight 49-47 lead.
During the third quarter of the game, the Miami Heat shot forty percent from the field as the Bulls ended up shooting thirty-two percent from the field. Robin Lopez scored eight points in the period as he shot seventy-five percent from the field. Nwaba played for ten minutes only to be held at four points but he would manage to grab one offensive rebound and five defensive rebounds. Both Lauri Markkanen and Justin Holiday were held at two points each as Grant dished off three assists.
As for the South Beach team, Tyler Johnson would shoot sixty percent from the field to earn seven points with three coming from beyond the arc. Dragic ended up with five points while hitting a three-pointer in the process. Whiteside was held at two points as both he and Dragic collected two defensive rebounds each. Dion Waiters would also be limited to just two points but he did manage to get his hands on five rebounds as the Heat went into the last quarter with a 67-64 lead.
The Bulls would try to respond back in the fourth period as they shot forty-six percent from the field, holding the Miami Heat to thirty-seven percent. Jerian Grant ended up with seven points in the fourth quarter, six coming from beyond the arc and one coming from the free-throw line. He also recorded two rebounds and one assist while Markkanen contributed with six points and two defensive rebounds.
But the Heat would close things out as Johnson continued to get hot for ten points, collecting six of behind the arc and the other four from the charity stripe. Goran Dragic helped out with six points, two rebounds, and four assists while Winslow had four points and three defensive rebounds. Bam Adebayo ended up with four points, three rebounds, and two steals as the Miami Heat pulled away with a 97-91 win over their rival, the Chicago Bulls. Goran Dragic finished with twenty points, five rebounds, and six assists. Lauri Markkanen would finish with twenty-five points, eight rebounds, and one assist.