Nikola Stock – Bulls defeat Heat for first time this season
Nikola Vucevic scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, leading the visiting Chicago Bulls to a win over the short-handed Miami Heat, 110-102, on Monday night.
Daniel Theis added 23 points and a game-high 12 rebounds for Chicago, and Coby White added 18 points.
The Heat (32-30) got a game-high and season-high 33 points from Jimmy Butler, who missed a key layup attempt late in the game. Miami also got 23 points from Bam Adebayo and 18 points from Trevor Ariza.
Chicago (26-35) is 4-2 in its past six games, beating Miami for the first time in three tries this season.
Duncan Robinson, who was not feeling well, left the game in the third quarter and did not return. He scored three points in 26 minutes, ending his streak of 25 consecutive games with at least two 3-pointers.
Goran Dragic, who normally ignites Miami’s second unit, made his 11th start of the season, this time in place of the injured Kendrick Nunn. Dragic had eight points and a game-high seven assists.
Miami was without three players who are considered day-to-day: Nunn (neck spasms), Tyler Herro (foot) and Andre Iguodala (hip). In addition, Victor Oladipo is likely out for the season due to a knee injury.
The Bulls’ bench outscored Miami’s reserves, 28-17.
There were four ties and three lead changes in a first quarter that finished with Miami on top, 26-20.
Chicago’s first lead of the second quarter came with just 54 seconds left as Vucevic hit a 3-pointer for a 52-51 advantage. But Butler made a short jumper and the Heat went into halftime with a 53-52 lead.
Both teams shot over 51 percent from the floor in the first half.
Butler had 15 points in the third quarter and the Heat ended the period on an 11-5 run, entering the fourth with an 82-76 lead.
Chicago, trailing by seven points with 8:14 left in the game, rallied to take a 106-102 lead in the final minute. That’s when Butler stole the ball at midcourt and drove all the way before missing a crucial layup.
White grabbed the rebound and made a free throw as the Bulls cruised from there.
For the game, Chicago shot 53.2 percent from the floor. The Heat cooled off in the second half and shot just 42.9 percent for the game.
–Field Level Media