DeMar DeRozan is coming off of a monster 50-point performance, just two points shy of his career high, in Chicago’s 135-130 overtime victory against the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night. The win boosted their home record to 27-10 and gives them a half-game lead ahead of the sixth-place Toronto Raptors with five games left. Nikola Vucevic, who always plays well against the Heat dating back to his Orlando Magic days, notched 22 points and 14 rebounds while Zach LaVine, who is probable today with a knee injury, scored 21 points.
The two teams meet for the fourth and final time tonight, with the Heat winners of the previous three games: 107-104 on Nov. 27, 118-92 on Dec. 11, and in their last matchup 112-99 on March 1 led by Tyler Herro with 20 points.
Chicago’s win against the Clippers is the third in their last four games, but they are still just 4-6 in their last 10 games while Miami is 5-5. With Lonzo Ball still rehabbing from his arthroscopic knee surgery in January, the Heat must contain DeRozan from having another huge game — with Vucevic and LaVine also dangerous and fully capable of having big performances against Miami. Jimmy Butler will happily accept the tough defensive assignment against DeRozan, but reserves such as Caleb Martin will be called upon as well. Limit those three Bulls players and the Heat should have a solid chance of making it 2-0 on their current road trip.
Second Round Schedule
- Javonte Smart: out (two-way)
- Caleb Martin: questionable (calf)
- Max Strus: questionable (right shoulder contusion)
- Gabe Vincent: questionable (toe)
- Lonzo Ball: out (knee)
- Zach LaVine: probable (knee)
|Tyrese Maxey||PG||Gabe Vincent|
|James Harden||SG||Max Strus|
|Danny Green||SF||Jimmy Butler|
|Tobias Harris||PF||PJ Tucker|
|Joel Embiid||C||Bam Adebayo|
FiveThirtyEight gives the Heat an 51% chance to win the game.
TV: Bally Sports Sun, NBA League Pass
RADIO: The Ticket 790AM & The HEAT Radio Network (Jason Jackson, Ruth Riley Hunter)
SPANISH RADIO: WAQI 710AM & The HEAT Spanish Radio Network (José Pañeda, Joe Pujala)
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