An ugly first half for the Miami Heat ultimately led to their doom in a 113-99 road loss to the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night.
By the time the halftime buzzer went off, Chicago was up 70-45 led by Patrick Beverley with 14 points and DeMar DeRozan adding 13 points and the team shooting 62% overall from the field. For a team desperate to make the playoffs, allowing 70 points to a lesser team that went into double-overtime the night before and were playing their third game in four nights while the Heat had two days off, their effort in the first half was inexcusable.
While the Heat turned it around in the third quarter that featured a 15-0 run to outscore the Bulls 32-20, the hole they dug ultimately was too deep to not just catch up but actually turn the game around in the fourth quarter and get a lead. The deficit had grown to 27 points when it was cut to within three points with eight and a half minutes left before Chicago retook control of the game soon after with a 20-6 run.
Even when Bam Adebayo’s short left hook finish in the paint got them within eight with the score 104-96 and less than four minutes left in the game, Patrick Williams’ three-point dagger on Chicago’s next possession essentially put the game out of reach without enough time to catch up.
Jimmy Butler led the team with 24 points and seven rebounds, with Adebayo totaling 23 points and seven rebounds and Tyler Herro closing with 15 points. Only Max Strus had an offensive impact off the bench with 20 points. Beverley closed with 17 points for the Bulls, while DeRozan led his team with 24 points and 10 assists and Zach LaVine added 18 points and seven assists.
Miami failed to come up with a three-game win streak in their third straight loss to Chicago this season, but they will have a chance to put this latest failure behind them with a game against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday.