The Miami Heat have been playing mighty impressive lately as they are currently on a seven-game winning streak, hoping to extend it to eight as they take on the Chicago Bulls at the United Center. The Bulls, on the other hand, are looking to grab their third straight win against their rival. The Heat and the Bulls have battled each other a total of 139 times in the past as the Heat won 64 games while the Bulls pulled 75 wins.
This game will mark the third of four matchups between these two ball clubs this season as November 26 was the last time they saw each other. The Florida team would go on to win that game, 100 to 93. Goran Dragic scored 24 points in that game while pulling down 2 rebounds and dishing off 3 assists. Jerian Grant finished the game with 24 points, one rebound, 3 assists, and 2 steals.
Rodney McGruder (leg)
Dion Waiters (ankle; 14.3 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 3.8 APG, 39.8 FG%, 30.6 3P%)
Okaro White (foot; 3.3 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 0.3 APG, 43.8 FG%, 36.4 3P%)
Udonis Haslem (coach’s decision; 0.6 PPG, 0.6 RPG, 0.4 APG, 40.0 FG%, 33.3 3P%)
Derrick Jones (coach’s decision; 3.2 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 0.5 APG, 55.0 FG%, 16.7 3P%)
Jordan Mickey (coach’s decision; 4.8 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 0.6 APG, 47.8 FG%, 9.1 3P%)
A.J. Hammons (G-League)
Derrick Walton (G-League; 1.8 PPG, 0.7 RPG, 1.1 APG, 33.3 FG%, 45.5 3P%)
Cameron Payne (foot)
Cristiano Felicio (coach’s decision; 3.8 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 0.6 APG, 61.9 FG%)
Quincy Pondexter (coach’s decision; 2.4 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 0.4 APG, 28.6 FG%, 13.6 3P%)
Paul Zipser (coach’s decision; 3.6 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 0.8 APG, 34.0 FG%, 30.3 3P%)
Antonio Blakeney (G-League; 7.1 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 0.6 APG, 36.4 FG%, 28.6 3P%)
Ryan Arcidiacono (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 0.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
The Chicago Bulls would have a slight upper hand at the beginning of the game as they shot forty-eight percent from the field in the first half, keeping the Heat at forty percent. Zach LaVine played well in his season debut against the Pistons on Saturday and he would carry it over against the Heat as he dropped 13 points in the first 24 minutes of the game. He also drained two three-pointers while grabbing two defensive rebounds and giving out four assists. Justin Holiday helped out with 3 three-pointers while Robin Lopez had five defensive rebounds. Denzel Valentine played 12 minutes off of the bench but was kept to just four points.
As for the South Beach team, Josh Richardson warmed up with 11 points on fifty-seven percent shooting. He also had three defensive rebounds and four assists while Hassan Whiteside collected nine points and seven defensive rebounds. Kelly Olynyk had three defensive rebounds and three assists while James Johnson was held scoreless. Wayne Ellington played the most minutes off of the bench as he scored eight points but it was the home team who went into halftime with a 55-48 lead.
The Miami Heat would attempt to pull a comeback as they shot fifty-six percent from the field, holding the Chicago Bulls to forty-eight percent. Goran Dragic lit the floor up with 18 points while recording five defensive rebounds and eight assists. Tyler Johnson was only held to two points but James Johnson would warm up with eight points. Ellington played 20 minutes off of the Miami bench as he added 12 more points to his scoring total.
Nikola Mirotic scored 18 points off of the Bulls’ bench which included 3 three-pointers in the last period. Lauri Markkanen had 12 points to put along with his five defensive rebounds and three assists. Valentine played the most minutes off of the bench, though, to earn eight points as the Chicago Bulls snuck away with a 119-111 win. Justin Holiday finished the game with 25 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, one steal, and one block. Goran Dragic had 22 points, 5 rebounds, and 9 assists.
The Miami Heat will travel to Wisconsin to battle Giannis Antetokoumpo (28.4 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 4.5 APG, 55 FG%) and the Milwaukee Bucks (22-20) on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. This matchup will mark the second of three times that these ball clubs will battle each other this season. The Heat and the Bucks have met up a grand total of 110 times as the Heat won 69 games while the Bucks ended up winning 41 games. January 14 was the last time they played each other as the Heat escaped with a 97 to 79 victory. Goran Dragic finished that game with 25 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and one steal while Giannis Antetokounmpo settled for 22 points, 6 rebounds, one assist, and one steal.
The Chicago Bulls will host Stephen Curry (30.7 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 7.2 APG, 49 FG%) and the Golden State Warriors (35-9) on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. This will mark the second and final time that these two teams will go head-to-head this season. They have battled each other a total of 160 times in the past as the Bulls ended up winning 87 games while the Warriors won 73 games. The last time they played each other was on November 24 as the Warriors handed the Bulls a 143-94 blowout loss. Stephen Curry scored 33 points in that game while pulling down 7 rebounds, dishing off 4 assists, and committing 2 steals. Jerian Grant finished with 21 points, 3 assists, and 3 assists.