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HHH GameTime Preview: Heat visit Chicago

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Miami, losers of four straight and seven of their last eight, play the Chicago Bulls in the third game of a five-game roadtrip.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight at 8PM, the Miami Heat will tipoff against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center in the first of four games this (regular) season. They'll play again in Chicago on March 11th, and will play their other two games at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, on March 1st and on April 7th.

The Heat are in the middle of a stretch in which they have or will play 14-of-16 contests on the road. They're currently mired in a four-game losing streak, and playing in the third game of a five-game roadtrip. They started with a 106-87 loss to the Washington Wizards on Wednesday and a 101-81 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Friday, and will go on to face the Brooklyn Nets tomorrow night before finishing up against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday.

The Bulls just completed a two game roadtrip, losing to the Boston Celtics 110-101 on Friday and defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers, 96-83 on Saturday. After tonight's one-off homestand, they'll head out on a seven-game roadtrip to play the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Utah Jazz, the Sacramento Kings, the Denver Nuggets, the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Charlotte Hornets.

The last time Miami played the Bulls was on April 9th last season, when the 35-43 Heat hosted the playoff-bound 47-31 Bulls. Chicago took an 89-78 victory despite a 19 point, 16 rebound effort from Hassan Whiteside. Luol Deng had eight points with eight boards and four assists, Goran Dragic scored 15, and Michael Beasley scored 13 off the bench. The Bulls were led by 16 points and 15 boards from Pau Gasol, 14 points and 12 rebounds off the bench from Taj Gibson, and 14 points from Aaron Brooks.

We're all frustrated. We're all embarrassed when you're in those situations and you can't stop an avalanche like that. - Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, on Miami having scored just 27 points in the second half versus 57 for the Bulls.

Blog a Bull is where I look for Bulls' news, and you should too!

Miami last played on Friday night in Toronto against the Raptors, and lost 101-81. Chris Bosh led the injury-ravaged Heat with 26 points and seven rebounds, while Dwyane Wade scored 22 with four assists. Nobody else scored more than nine points. DeMar DeRozan scored 33 points with six rebounds for Toronto, Kyle Lowry had 15 with six helpers, Terrence Ross had 13 points off the bench, and Jonas Valanciunas had nine points and 13 rebounds.

At this point I don't think I've got time to wait around to feel great. We've got so many bodies down, you want to get out there and help our team when you can. - Wade

For more on Toronto, go to Raptors HQ.

Chicago surprised the East-leading Cleveland Cavaliers 96-83 their last time out on Saturday in Quicken Loans Arena. Gasol scored 25 with 10 rebounds and six assists to lead the Bulls, Jimmy Butler scored 20 with nine rebounds, Gibson had 15 and eight, and Nikola Mirotic came off the bench with 17 and six. LeBron James scored 26 points with 13 rebounds and nine assists in a losing effort for the Cavs, while JR Smith had 18 points with 11 rebounds.

This was a big game. It's a great sign when you come into a place like this that was buzzing. We went out and we were aggressive. We got that lead at the end of the first quarter and never looked back. - Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg

Fear the Sword has Cavaliers' news.

GameTime: 8PM

All-Time Head-to-Head: Miami and Chicago are playing in their 100th mutual contest, with the Bulls leading the all-time series with a 44-55 mark.

Standings

Miami Heat: 23-21, .523, on pace for 43-39. Second in the Southeast Division, four-way tie for fifth in the Eastern Conference, tied for 11th in the NBA. Last Five: W-L-L-L-L. Playoff Odds: 49.5%

Chicago Bulls: 25-18, .581, on pace for 48-34. Second in the Central Division, third in the Eastern Conference, seventh in the NBA. Last Five: L-W-L-L-W. Playoff Odds: 91.7%

Injury Report

Miami Heat: Goran Dragic (calf) is out. Luol Deng (eye), Gerald Green (knee), Josh McRoberts (knee), and Beno Udrih (neck) are questionable. Dwyane Wade (shoulder) indicated that he would play, while Hassan Whiteside (knee) is still experiencing pain.

Chicago Bulls: Kirk Hinrich (quad) is out, and E'Twaun Moore (hamstring) is questionable.

Miami Milestones

Tonight's game will mark 799 for Udonis Haslem. He will play in his 800th Heat game later this week, second on Miami's all-time leaderboard. Four assists will move him into a tie with Dan Majerle in 16th with 717. His next block will move him out of a tie in ninth with Eddie Jones. They both currently have 246.

Chris Bosh's next free throw will move him into a tie for fifth all-time with Grant Long, at 1,437.

11 rebounds for Dwyane Wade will make 4,000 for his career. He will join Haslem, Rony Seikaly, and Alonzo Mourning in the 4K club.

Probable Starting Lineups

Miami Heat
PG - Tyler Johnson
SG - Dwyane Wade
C - Amar'e Stoudemire
SF - Justise Winslow
PF - Chris Bosh

Chicago Bulls
PG - Derrick Rose
SG - Jimmy Butler
C - Pau Gasol
SF - Tony Snell
PF - Taj Gibson

Keep it tuned in here at Hot Hot Hoops for breaking Miami Heat news, hang out for the GameThread, live during each game, and check back later for our game recaps, along with our award-winning recipes.