Available 7 Days/Week       MON - FRI  8am - 7pm       SAT - SUN  10am – 6pm
Call us (754) 701-3300
Apply Now

Heat unable to recover from early 25-point hole, fall 124-116 to Bulls

MIAMI – When you open a game in the injury absences of Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, Josh Richardson and Haywood Highsmith, you’re already at a deficit.

When you then fall behind by 25 in the first quarter, you’re practically buried.

Through it all, even while playing Thursday night on the second night of a back-to-back set that opened with Wednesday night’s victory over the Charlotte Hornets, the Miami Heat managed to make it a game, one in which the deficit ultimately was too much to overcome.

With Jimmy Butler playing on both nights a back-to-back set for the first time this season, the Heat clawed back within three before falling 124-116 to the Chicago Bulls at Kaseya Center, their first game without a lead this season and only second loss to an opponent with a losing record.

Seemingly on fumes early and out of gas late, the Heat fell despite 20 points, seven rebounds and seven assists from Butler, 22 points from Jaime Jaquez Jr.. 17 apiece from Kyle Lowry and Caleb Martin, and 16 from Kevin Love.

The Bulls got a 24-point, 12-rebound double-double from center Nikola Vucevic and a 26-point, 11-assist double-double from guard Coby White, with veteran forward DeMar DeRozan scoring 23.

Five Degrees of Heat from Thursday night’s game:

1. Closing time: The Heat fell behind 33-8 before moving within 36-22 at the end of the first quarter, a period the Bulls were 7 of 10 on 3-pointers.

But with a 14-0 second-quarter run that grew to a 24-5 surge, the Heat stood within 60-56 at halftime.

The Heat then moved within three early in the third period, fell back behind by 14, closing the third quarter down 93-88, with Butler with his traditional rest at the top of fourth.

Butler returned with 6:59 to play and the Heat down 106-101.

The deficit then moved to 11, before a Lowry 3-pointer with 3:20 left got the Heat within 113-108. But an Ayo Dosunmu 3-pointer with 2:27 left extended Chicago’s lead to 116-109. Dosunmu closed with 24 points.

2. Sordid start: The Heat’s start was so startling, down 14 within the first five minutes, that 10 Heat players saw action in the first 8:06, including RJ Hampton making just his second appearance with the team and first since two minutes of mop-up duty Oct. 28.

The lone available Heat player not to appear was forward Cole Swider.

The first time the team’s met, the Bulls fell behind 22-1 on Nov. 18 at United Center before rallying to win.

Hampton also got minutes in the second half, closing with three points and two rebounds in 9:27.

3. Jaquez again: Jaquez extended his streak to a career-best 12 consecutive games scoring in double figures, doing it for the 17th time in his last 18 games.

The last Heat rookie to do it in 12 in a row was Kendrick Nunn in 2019.

Jaquez led all players with 14 first-half points.

Bulls coach Billy Donovan during his pregame comments took note of the first-round pick out of UCLA..

“He’s got a really good feel, has been able to come in and fit in,” Donovan said. “Tough. Competitive. Physical. Makes physical plays both defensively and offensively.”

4. Middle men: It was another uneven effort for Orlando Robinson in place of Adebayo, with Erik Spoelstra again turning to Thomas Bryant for minutes.

Ultimately, after Vucevic dominated Robinson at the start of the third period. Spoelstra turned to Love, who scored 11 in the third, including three 3-pointers.

Bryant then stepped in for Love at the start of the fourth, in a game that was a decided defensive struggle for Orlando Robinson. From there, Love played as closer.

5. Do it again: The teams meet again Saturday to close out the four-game season series. The teams met in a similar two-game set last month in Chicago, with the Bulls winning the first and the Heat the second.

The scheduling has the Heat closing their season series against the Bulls before a first meeting of the season against Eastern Conference opponents Orlando and Philadelphia.

#fortlauderdale, #fortlauderdalemortgage, #fortlauderdalemortgagelender, #fortlauderdalemortgagerates #fortlauderdalemortgagebroker