The way the fourth quarter played out, this was a game the Bulls easily could have lost last year. They coughed up plenty of leads and eventually finished out of the playoff running.
This year, the Bulls beat the Heat, despite their late rally, and won 105-100 in the final seconds. The Heat have lost five in a row and had been on a tough road trip — including a rout by the Cavs at Cleveland the night before. The Heat played the second night of a back to back and were competitive until a third quarter burst, when the Bulls stretched out a lead to double-digits.
Jimmy Butler scored 31 points and missed only one free-throw, and Dwyane Wade had 28 points to hold off the heat.
The Bulls had an eight point lead in the fourth quarter but Miami fought hard to remain in the game. They got it down to 101-100, before Butler made critical free-throws to seal the win. He made 4 attempts in the last 30 seconds to get the W.
Chicago (13-10) is learning how to win.
“In this league there are going to be some nights you’re going to play amazing and there are going to be some nights where you play well enough to get a win. We played good enough to get a win tonight,” Wade said.
Guard Goran Dragic was all over the court for the Heat and almost willed his team to a win. He scored 21 points with 11 assists. Hassan Whiteside hit for 20 points and grabbed eight boards. Miami hit 46% from the field but only made 11 of 18 free-throw attempts.
Chicago, essentially won the game from the line, making 28 on 31 attempts. The Bulls out-rebounded The Heat 47-43. Nikola Mirotic had nine points coming off the bench. F Doug McDermott is getting into court shape and had a good night as a reserve, netting eight points.