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GAME PREVIEW: Heat visit Bulls in hopes of completing season sweep

Miami leads the season series 3-0 against Chicago.

Chicago Bulls v Miami Heat Photo by Joseph Guzy/NBAE via Getty Images

GAME STORY

After opening their last road trip of the season with a confidence-boosting victory in Boston, the Miami Heat (49-28) visit the Chicago Bulls (45-32) on Saturday night at the United Center at 8:00pm.

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.

Eastern Conference Finals Schedule

GAME DATE MATCHUP TIME TV
GAME DATE MATCHUP TIME TV
Game 1 Tuesday, May 17 Boston @ Miami 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN
Game 2 Thursday, May 19 Boston @ Miami 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN
Game 3 Saturday, May 21 Miami @ Boston 8:30 p.m. ET ABC
Game 4 Monday, May 23 Miami @ Boston 8:30 p.m. ET ABC
Game 5* Wednesday, May 25 Boston @ Miami 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN
Game 6* Friday, May 27 Miami @ Boston 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN
Game 7* Sunday, May 29 Boston @ Miami 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN
Game Details

INACTIVE/INJURIES

MIAMI:

  • Javonte Smart: out (two-way)
  • Caleb Martin: questionable (calf)
  • Max Strus: questionable (right shoulder contusion)
  • Gabe Vincent: questionable (toe)

CHICAGO:

  • Lonzo Ball: out (knee)
  • Zach LaVine: probable (knee)

LINEUPS

Projected Starters

Celtics Position Heat
Celtics Position Heat
Marcus Smart PG Kyle Lowry
Jaylen Brown SG Max Strus
Jayson Tatum SF Jimmy Butler
Al Horford PF PJ Tucker
Robert Williams III C Bam Adebayo

ODDS

FiveThirtyEight gives the Heat an 51% chance to win the game.

BROADCAST INFO

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)

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