Awful 2nd half sends Heat to loss in Chicago

As jacked up as the Heat seemed leading up to tipoff, they stumbled out of the gate at the United Center.  Chicago jumped out to an early 7-2 lead while the Heat missed their first five shots.  They would quickly turn things around though, led by LeBron who made 3 straight shots for Miami.  As a team the Heat would make their next six shots and take a nice little 6-point lead.  

Miami finished the 1st quarter shooting 59% while holding the Bulls to just 39%, and the Heat led 31-23 after 1.  It seemed that starting quarters were the issue for Miami in this one as they began the 2nd just as poorly as they did the first.  The Heat opened the 2nd by making just 1-of-8 from the field but still were able to hold a slim 4-point lead.

Just like in the opening quarter, Miami would figure things out offensively and keep their semi-comfortable lead.  The two teams would trade buckets in the final minute of the half, but LeBron got the last laugh and sunk a long J at the buzzer, giving the Heat a 9-point lead heading into the break. 

The 3rd quarter would be a forgettable one for Miami though, as they would get out-shot, out-rebounded and pretty much out-played in every way possible.   The Heat was outscored 27-14 in the 3rd, with Dwyane Wade and LeBron James scoring all 14 points in the quarter for Miami.  Actually, they had scored 21 straight if you go back into the 2nd quarter, so obviously someone other then the dynamic duo was going to have to step up in the final 12 minutes.

Entering the 4th quarter the Heat bench had scored a total of just 2 points and the Bulls were on a 20-6 run, grabbing 13 more rebounds then Miami.  Chicago finally started missing some shots as the final period wore on, and slowly but surely the Heat clawed their way back from a 9-point deficit.  The Bulls missed 9 straight shots, finding themselves down by 4 when Kyle Korver finally drilled a trey to get them back on the board. 

Chicago would finally hit some shots, and they did it when it counted.  That Korver triple would begin a 9-0 run for the Bulls, who were making it look easy again while the Heat, who average over 100 points per game, couldn't buy a bucket.  Chris Bosh missed a pair during that stretch, bringing his ridiculously awful shooting night to 1-for-18. 

A little 5-0 run by the Heat, capped off by a nice and-1 by LeBron James, would tie the game at 89 with 36 seconds left.  From there it was déjà vu all over again as the Heat would end up getting beat by another Bulls triple.  Last time it was Korver, this time it was Luol Deng.  LeBron would get a chance to tie the game but took an ugly trey that wasn't even close, and that would be that. 

GAME NOTES

  • Miami shot 25% in the 3rd quarter and 39% in the 4th
  • The Bulls are now 11-4 on the 2nd night of back-to-backs. 
  • They are 1 of only 4 teams in the NBA not to lose more then two games in a row. 
  • Another solid night for Mario Chalmers, finishing with 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting, including 2-of-2 from downtown.  He added 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. 
  • Only 3 bench players made it in the game for the Heat, combining for 2 points.  Thanks, Eddie House
  • Erick Dampier had 5 points and 5 boards in just under 30 minutes.  Big Z played as many minutes as Carlos Arroyo...none. 
  • Now the Heat is saying that Mike Miller has an ear infection, which is why he didn't make the trip. 

Quick turnaround for the Heat, as they come home to host the Wizards tomorrow night.  Until then...

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