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GAME PREVIEW: Heat host Bulls again to close out back-to-back set

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Miami can make it five home wins in a row tonight, but they must show more consistency.

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Miami Heat Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

GAME STORY

The Miami Heat (32-29) host the Chicago Bulls (25-35) for the second consecutive game at the AmericanAirlines Arena tonight with a chance to extend their four-game home winning streak.

In Saturday’s game, the Heat were cruising through three quarters with a lead as big as 24 points before the Bulls made it very interesting down the stretch to cut the lead down to just two points in the closing minutes. Thankfully, the Heat made just enough plays to escape with the win, even if they ultimately never trailed in the game to hand the Bulls their seventh loss in their last 10 games.

Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler both scored 20 points, Kendrick Nunn added 22, and Duncan Robinson knocked down seven 3-pointers to lead the Heat with 23 points. Coby White was unstoppable in stretches, scoring 31 points to lead Chicago, while Nikola Vucevic contributed 26 points and 14 rebounds.

For tonight, the hope is that the Heat have finally learned their lesson (again) to play consistently for the full 48 minutes and not play down to the competition. While the offense was clearly on point, there’s not too many games that will produce a victory if they allow their opponent to score 38 points in the final quarter like they did on Saturday. The Bulls remain a very beatable, yet dangerous team, with plenty of athleticism, a big man who always plays well against the Heat, and a slasher in White who has averaged 19.5 points in his last six games and looked very comfortable attacking and penetrating the Heat’s interior defense. They also continue to be without leading man Zach LaVine, who did not accompany the team on their current road trip.

As for the two players who sat out Saturday, Goran Dragic is no longer listed in the injury report but Tyler Herro (foot) remains questionable. Nunn also makes an appearance on the list with an elbow issue that has him questionable for tonight.

ODDS: FiveThirtyEight gives the Heat a 72% chance to win the game.

HEAT VS BULLS: MONDAY, APRIL 26 AT 8:00 PM

INJURIES

MIAMI:

  • Victor Oladipo: out (knee)
  • Gabe Vincent: day-to-day (knee)
  • Kendrick Nunn: day-to-day/questionable (elbow)
  • Tyler Herro: day-to-day/questionable (foot)

CHICAGO:

  • Patrick Williams: day to day (heel)
  • Troy Brown Jr.: out (ankle)
  • Zach LaVine: out (health and safety protocols)

LINEUPS

Projected Starters

Bucks Position Heat
Bucks Position Heat
Jrue Holiday PG Goran Dragic
Bryn Forbes SG Duncan Robinson
Khris Middleton SF Jimmy Butler
Giannis Antetokounmpo PF Trevor Ariza
Brook Lopez C Bam Adebayo

BROADCAST INFO

TV: Bally Sports Sun, NBA League Pass
RADIO: The Ticket 790AM & The HEAT Radio Network (Mike Inglis, Ron Rothstein, Jonathan Zaslow, Tommy Tighe)
SPANISH RADIO: WRTO Mix 98.3 FM (José Pañeda, Joe Pujala). HEAT Spanish Radio Network includes: WEFL ESPN Deportes 760 AM

Come back to Hot Hot Hoops at game time to join our GameThread and chat about the game live with other Heat fans!