Following a pitiful loss at Toronto last night, the Bulls look to rebound against the most talked about team in the league. Miami just came off a dominating win over the Kings at home, travel to Chicago for the team’s second meeting.
In the first matchup LeBron James sat out with an ankle injury, Chris Bosh played limited minutes after his own ankle injury, and Kyle Korver demonstrated clutch play to give the Bulls a win.
This time around, both teams will have all of their stars ready to play. Mike Miller is nursing an ear infection, will miss the game. Luol Deng suffered a light knee bruise against the Raptors, should not miss a beat against the Heat.
After a 16 rebound performance in Toronto, Joakim Noah will look to re-establish his game and take advantage of Miami’s limited depth in the front-court.
LeBron James started the game running the floor to take advantage of fast break points off slopping inside passing on the Bulls part. Coach Thibodeau called a quick timeout after a 6-0 Miami run with little success. Miami was able to build their lead up to 8. 31-23 after one.
The second quarter was much of the same, aside from a stronger defensive effort from both teams. The Bulls managed to slow down Miami, but never out-pace them in the first half. The Bulls were down by 9 at the half. 53-44.
Nearing the end of the 3rd, the Bulls managed to chip away at the Heat. Luol Deng and Derrick Rose lead a Bulls charge to give the Bulls the lead with three minutes left in the period. The Bulls managed to own the glass and capitalize off Miami’s misses to finish the quarter with a 4 point lead. 71-67
With 3 minutes left in the game, the Bulls found themselves down by 4 points. Carlos Boozer was trapped in the paint and found Kyle Korver for a wide open 3 to bring the Bulls within a point. At this point the momentum swayed to the Bulls favor. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade both, who had contributed to nearly all of Miami’s points in the 2nd half, fell short on most of their final shots. The Bulls managed to keep the momentum on the glass, proving the only way to stop Miami, is to let them beat themselves.
Supporting a riled up crowd, and MVP chants echoing throughout the United Center, Dwayne Wade stuck his hands into Derrick’s Face on a 21ft shot with no success, as Rose hit the 2, to give the Bulls a 5 point lead with 1 minute left in regulation. Wade made a prayer of a fade-away to stop a 4 minute drought to bring Miami within 2. Then LeBron tied the game with a 3 point play. However Derrick Rose and Luol Deng took control at the end, giving the Bulls the potential tie-breaker against the Heat. Bulls win 93-89.
Luol Deng finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 block and steal.
Rose netted 26, 56 dimes and 5 boards.
Noah played a limited role grabbing 8 rebounds in 27 minutes.
As for Bogans, 2 points from the charity stripe, 0-4 from 3. Although he was able to stay with Wade for one play.