It was a furious finish for the Miami Heat last night as they took down the Chicago Bulls 118-96 at the United Center. After leading 84-81 after three quarters, the Heat used a 22-2 run midway through the fourth to run away with this one. The Heat just flat out ran through the Bulls in the final 12 minutes and looked unstoppable at points. Goran Dragic played tremendously all game and finished with 26 points and 9 assists. Luol Deng added 19 while rookie Josh Richardson continued his impressive play with 22 points off the bench. Whiteside contributed a double double with 13-16 to go along with 3 blocks. Wade had a quiet night as he was dealing with a thigh bruise suffered against the Bucks. Joe Johnson chipped in with 15 points as Miami continued their great form since the all-star break.
We laid out three keys to the game last night that the Heat needed to do in order to win. Let’s see how they did.
- Control the paint
- The Heat out-rebounded Chicago 51-45 including 9 on the offensive end while only giving up 7. On offense, Miami had 62 points in the paint! They attacked the rim all night and had a ton of easy buckets.
2. Defend the 3-point line
- Chicago shot only 8-21 from downtown, which is not good considering how they had been shooting in recent games. Miami did a great job with running off the line or making them take contested shots. Two of the 3’s were given up to Gasol, who is not known for his range. I would rather him shoot out there than in the paint though.
3. Squeeze the orange
- Miami had only 8 turnovers last night while racking up 30 assists. When a team does that, it is very hard to beat them. The Heat complemented those numbers by forcing 18 turnovers by Chicago. When the ball is moving that well, everyone becomes a threat and the Heat were on a roll with their offense.
The Heat finish off their short road trip tonight as they travel north of the border to face the Raptors. GO HEAT!