The Miami Heat came into Tuesday’s night matchup with the Chicago Bulls on a four-game winning streak. The Bulls, on the other hand, had dropped their last four games. Both teams had a reversal of fortune.
Miami seemed to be in good position when they won the second quarter 36-21, including this great alley-oop from Duncan Robinson to Bam Adebayo. Chicago went cold on the offensive end, and the Heat ran some nice offense to find open 3-point shots.
But the third quarter gave away what Miami gained from the second. The Bulls won that period 36-20 — at one point, it was 30-10 — to wrestle control of the game. Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry and Caleb Martin all sat. The Heat had no answers for a Chicago team that was 11-18 coming into the game.
Miami’s offense was too anemic to go on any semblance of a run, and the Bulls took advantage. In the fourth, Chicago even went up by as many as 19 points. Erik Spoelstra waived the white flag and gave Nikola Jovic and Orlando Robinson some playing time at the end.
Adebayo stood as the Heat’s biggest bright spot. He was aggressive from the start, utilizing his quickness against Nikola Vucevic. Adebayo shot an incredible 12-of-15 from the field — including hitting several jumpers — to finish with 27 points, 12 rebounds and six assists. He looked comfortable out there, easily finding his spots.
The problem tonight is that Adebayo didn’t have enough help. Tyler Herro, who should’ve also had a big night with three starters resting, shot 7-of-16 from the field for 19 points. That would be enough if Butler had played, but it wasn’t for a team that again struggled to score 100 points. The final score was 113-103.
Robinson put in a solid first half with four 3-pointers, but missed all his 3s in the second half. Max Strus continued his shooting slump, shooting just 1-for-7 from 3. And Victor Oladipo, who started tonight, shot just 4-of-13 from the field and 2-of-8 from 3. Oladipo took a number of ill-advised 3s and looked much better when he drove to the basket.
Aside from Adebayo, the only other player who did his job was Haywood Highsmith. As the starting power forward, Highsmith played some great defense on DeMar DeRozan, knocked down all four of his 3-pointers and even made some nice cuts to the basket. He did what any Heat fan could've asked him to do. But not enough of his teammates could say the same.
Now back at the .500 mark, the Heat will host the Indiana Pacers Friday at 7:30 p.m.