HEAT Beat Bulls, Win 9th Straight
By: Matt Pineda
LeBron James put together another great efficient game as the HEAT beat the Bulls in Chicago to win their 9th straight game and improve to 38-14.
The HEAT overcame a sluggish start to the game to lead for most of the game. Sloppy play plagued both teams early, combining for 15 turnovers in the first quarter. But it was the Bulls who continued their sloppy play, and Miami eventually got it together. The HEAT led by 10 points at halftime with balanced scoring from James, Wade, Bosh and Chalmers who each chipped in 7 or more points.
In the second half, Miami held a 14 point lead for much of the half, give or take a few points. The HEAT’s second unit had a strong showing tonight, as they were able to push the lead each time LeBron sat for the first 4+ minutes of the second and fourth quarter. Ray Allen and Norris Cole combined for 19 points.
The HEAT pushed their lead to 20 points late in the fourth quarter as the Bulls couldn’t make many shots and continued to turn the ball over. Without Rose and Hinrich, they struggled for offensive flow from Nate Robinson and Teague. The Bulls had 26 turnovers, a high for a HEAT opponent this season.
Dwyane Wade was mildly efficient shooting 8-15 and scoring 17 points. Chris Bosh had a quiet 12 points, but was effective offensively spacing the floor. Chalmers scored all 8 of his points in the first quarter. The low moment in the game was when James got out on a fast break and Nate Robinson caught up to him to give him a rough, but not dirty foul. James came up limping as he probably got a Charlie-horse and the crowd began to cheer. A very class-less display by a fan base who should appreciate the health of an MVP.
When it was all said and done, the HEAT won the game 86-67, their best defensive effort of the season.
Game MVP: LeBron James
LeBron was again, himself. He scored 26 points, had 12 rebounds, and collected 7 assists. He scored when he wanted to, had his jump shot going and never let circumstances get the best of him.
The HEAT will be in Philadelphia to take on the Sixers on Saturday night. The game starts at 7:30pm.