After being one of the best first quarter teams in basketball this season, Miami’s hot starts have slowed down in recent games. Part of that has to do with the injuries Miami is consistently suffering, but some of it is poor shot selection as well.
Miami missed eight of their first eleven shots in thid one, with Butler getting his first points off free throws at the 3:25 mark. The Heat just didn’t seem to have the outstanding ball movement that they’ve displayed throughout the last few weeks. It also didn’t help that they shot 27% from the field.
Miami’s defense wasn’t great either as the Bulls took a nine point lead of 50% shooting. The pressure just wasn’t there, in fact the Bulls didn’t turn the ball over until the last two seconds of the quarter. The Heat fought back slightly, but the Bulls continued their assault in the last two minutes to take a nine point lead into the second quarter.
Tyler Herro would open the second quarter up with nice runner, that was quickly followed up by a Nunn jumper and DJJ slam dunk. The Bulls wouldn’t slow down, but Miami forced their way back into striking distance.
Kendrick Nunn, and Tyler Herro really got things going for Miami, similar to what they did against Milwaukee earlier in the season. It’s a great thing when you can rely on your rookies to carry the offense for stretches.
The Heat would go on an 8-0 scoring run to tie things up, with Tyler Herro absolutely on fire (he had 9 points int the quarter).
Chicago continued to stay in it though, with Thomas Satoransky, and Wendell Carter Jr. scoring some easy buckets. Despite a small scoring drought, Miami’s defense would elevate towards the end of the quarter resulting in some key scores. Jimmy Butler would get in rhythm to close the quarter, leaving the Heat down only 2 headed into the second half.
Bam Adebayo would put down a huge dunk to open up the third, and Duncan Robinson hit a big three moments later to tie things up for Miami. Bam was active on both ends, not letting a groin strain slow him down and absolutely bullying Chicago in the paint.
The lead fluctuated multiple times off of big shots from Duncan Robinson and Lauri Markkanen, but Chicago kept hanging around.
Both teams kept it close (tied, mostly) with Kelly Olynyk, Chris Silva and others getting involved. Jimmy was a nuisance on defense and a facilitator on offense with his shot not falling consistently.
Kendrick Nunn would hit a highly contested three at the end of the third to take the Heat into the fourth with a one point lead.
The lead changes would continue as Thaddeus Young hit a three to open the quarter, but Miami would keep it close thanks to Jimmy Butler finding his way to the free throw line. Miami’s three point shooting was abysmal, so Jimmy being able to grind his way to the line the way he did really helped keep Miami alive.
Turnovers were unsurprisingly still a problem for the Heat who were reckless with the ball while trying to force things on offense. It also didn’t help the Chicago’s Kris Dunn was fantastic on the defensive end, anticipating passes and making the Heat’s life very difficult.
With 2:11 on the clock, Bam would tie things up with a big and-one play. Miami and Chicago would exchange leads for what seemed like the millionth time as Herro and Lauri Markkanen put up buckets.
With Chicago up one, Zach LaVine would slash to the rim and turn the ball over leaving Miami in excellent position to win the game. Duncan Robinson would inbound to Jimmy, who was pressured immediately. As Jimmy drove to the rim, he’d find Tyler Herro open at the three point line. Tyler sank the shot putting Miami up two.
Chicago would get one more chance, but a Miami foul sent Zach LaVine to the free throw line. He’d drain both to tie the game and send things to overtime.
Bam missed two free throws to start the overtime period, getting things started on a low note. He’d aggravate his groin injury seconds later and have to come out of the game (he’d thankfully be okay and come back in). Chicago took advantage going up three, but a big Herro three (again) would tie things up. That process would repeat again with a Bulls three and then another Herro three to keep things tied.
Just when you thought he couldn’t do it again. Herro would hit another three (yes, another one!) to put the Heat up three (he had sixteen of the Heat’s final eighteen points).
With 6 seconds left in OT, the Bulls went to LaVine who was fouled immediately by Jimmy (Heat had a foul to give). They’d get another chance and go to Markkanen who missed his three point attempt. Herro grabbed the board, got fouled and put up more points for the Heat to stay unbeaten at home in a big Heat win.