Game 9: Chicago Bulls (5-4) defeat Miami Heat (2-5), 98-95
Nov. 10, 2016
American Airlines Arena – Miami
In Dwyane Wade‘s first game in Miami as an opponent, the Bulls were victorious, surviving with a 98-95 win over the Heat.
For the most part, it was a close game. The Heat owned a six-point lead in the first quarter and a seven-point lead early in the second quarter, but they never achieved anything more than that.
During the third quarter in particular, the Bulls and Heat were evenly matched up. Both teams struggled to score, posting just 17 total points in the third quarter. Miami went scoreless for over two minutes, finally breaking the scoring drought with a bucket from Hassan Whiteside. But, about a minute before Miami got back on the scoreboard, Chicago started its own scoring drought, going scoreless for over four minutes.
The Bulls established a lead early in the fourth quarter and built upon it enough to make it a six-point lead with four minutes left. The Heat held on but couldn’t quite make a run and came short in their comeback.
Player of the Game
Butler led Chicago with 20 points on 5-of-11 shooting and had four rebounds, five assists and three steals in 38 minutes of playing time. He also went 9-for-10 from the free throw line. A pair of those free throws were clutch ones that sealed the win for Chicago. Before that, Butler made a 13-footer, bringing the Bulls’ lead to three after the Heat had cut it to one point.
Rajon Rondo was the lone Bull to post a double-double. He had 16 points on 6-for-14 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds in 37 minutes. He also added six assists and two steals.
Hassan Whiteside was the only other player besides Rondo to post a double-double in the game. He had a whopping 20 points and 20 rebounds in 37 minutes.
The Bulls’ biggest advantage came on free throws, as they got to the charity stripe 20 times. Chicago was successful on 18 trips to the line. Meanwhile, Miami went 10-for-15 on free throws.
With such close field goal percentages, it’s no wonder the game was such a tight one. The Bulls came out just ahead at 41.6 percent on 37-for-89 shooting from the field, and the Heat were 40.9 percent on 36-for-88 from the field.
The Heat were able to stay alive despite their poor shooting from the charity stripe partially because of their success from behind the 3-point line. Miami was 13-of-29 from downtown while Chicago was just 6-for-16 on threes.
Michael Carter-Williams remains out with a left knee bone bruise and a sprained right wrist.
The Bulls will end the week with a home game against the Washington Wizards on Saturday.
Ashley is the owner/editor of The Bulls Charge. Follow her on Twitter at @wijangco12.