It’s pretty incredible that the Miami Heat wound up hitting the century mark in their 100-93 victory over the Bulls, as they began this 2:30 afternoon start as awfully as possible. They had 7 points at the end of the first period after shooting 2-19 from the field. Neil Funk gleefully recognized that he had a monitor with a running stat of the shooting percentages and would count out the dwindling percentage with every miss.
Problem was, the Bulls weren’t much better, as both teams turned the ball over a ton and missed chippies inside. Chicago only had 13 points themselves in the opening period, as Lauri Markkanen hit a couple threes but there wasn’t much else.
Cool action from Hoiberg, using Markkanen, Lopez, and Holiday together to get Markkanen the window for the 3. pic.twitter.com/Wj9WnnLdfb— Stephen Noh (@StephNoh) November 26, 2017
It was much more aesthetically pleasing from then on out, with the Heat having the ultimate advantage after scoring 38, 19, and 36 for the remaining 3 periods. Miami went small for much of the game and succeeded when they did. Hassan Whiteside came into the game with knee soreness and didn’t have much of an impact, though he was a +5 in his 21 minutes on the court. But Miami always looked better using no real backup center, with Kelly Olynyk nominally manning the spot for 27 minutes, and the Heat more heavily using him off the bench alongside the likes of James Johnson, Tyler Johnson, and Wayne Ellington.
It was the former Bulls draftee James ‘Jimmy Johns’ Johnson who stood out the most, shooting 7-9 from the field for 15 points to go with 6 assists, 7 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks. He was too quick for Bobby Portis and too much of an actual NBA player for Paul Zipser, who was back in the rotation for 13 dreadful minutes while Cristiano Felicio received a DNP with the Bulls looking to stay small with Miami.
Goran Dragic helped close the show with a couple threes, as the Heat recovered from the awful start to wind up going 13-32 from the line as a team.
The Bulls were actually a tiny bit better from distance, going 14-33. Denzel Valentine had a solid all-around game buoyed by hitting 4-6 of his triples, but also having 13 rebounds and 7 assists. Jerian Grant was the Bulls leading scorer with 24 points off the bench. He did have 4 turnovers, but that was still loads better than the day Kris Dunn had. Dunn had 3 turnovers and also didn’t hit a single basket, shooting 0-6. It was exemplary of his night to see this steal (of his 3 in the game) only lead to a blown layup.
Kris Dunn in a nutshell. Anticipates the pass beautifully and gets the steal, blows the breakaway layup. pic.twitter.com/WyCGIewlcT— Stephen Noh (@StephNoh) November 26, 2017
Bobby Portis continued his production while his team loses (-13 in 24 minutes, but did have 11 points on 8 shots and 4 assists), and unofficially the Bulls are now 0-28 after he flexes in a game. James Johnson flexed him back for the victory.
More 4th quarter JJ! pic.twitter.com/VAFPDlQivJ— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) November 26, 2017
The Bulls host the Suns on Tuesday, a team you’d call a fellow tanker though the Bulls are now excelling in that regard. Congrats to everyone involved.