In 1992, the Miami HEAT became the first of the four recent expansion teams to make the playoffs. Miami faced the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the best-of-five-game playoff series losing three games to zero.
The HEAT qualified for the playoffs on the final day of the regular season (April 19). Miami ended the season with a 38-44 record and needed the Atlanta Hawks to lose to the Cleveland Cavaliers in their final game to set up a tie between Atlanta and Miami for the final spot in the 1992 Playoffs. The Hawks lost that final game, a thrilling 112-108 Cleveland win, setting up a tie between Atlanta and Miami. The HEAT earned the playoff spot on the basis of the second tiebreaker, a superior conference record (27-29/Miami, 23-33/Atlanta), after the teams split the season series.
The playoff week did not pass without incident for the HEAT. Miami's leading scorer, Glen Rice, split the toenail on his right great toe which hobbled him in the playoffs. Despite the injury, Rice was Miami's second leading scorer in the postseason averaging 19.0 ppg. Rony Seikaly led Miami in both scoring and rebounding in the playoffs with 20.7 points and 10.7 rebounds. Steve Smith finished with 16.0 points and 5.0 assists.
FIRST ROUND (CHICAGO-3, MIAMI-0)
Game 1 - Apr. 24 (Chicago 113, Miami 94): Miami opened its first ever playoff series in Chicago Stadium on Friday, April 24. The Bulls won 113-94 behind a superior effort from Michael Jordan who scored 46 points to lead all scorers. Miami was led by Steve Smith (19 points/seven assists), Glen Rice (17 points) and Rony Seikaly (14 points/11 rebounds).
Game 2 - Apr. 26 (Chicago 120, Miami 90): The HEAT made its first appearance on network television in Game 2 on Sunday, April 26. In a game telecast on NBC-TV, Miami lost to Chicago, 120-90, at Chicago Stadium. The Bulls were led by Michael Jordan (33 points) and Scottie Pippen (30 points), while Rony Seikaly (26 points) and Glen Rice (15 points) led the HEAT.
Game 3 - Apr. 29 (Chicago 119, Miami 114): The playoffs moved to Miami for Game Three on Wednesday, April 29, as the HEAT hosted its first ever home playoff game. The scene inside Miami Arena was electric as the HEAT gave away playoff clackers to the 15,008 fans that jammed the building. The noise inside the arena was deafening as Miami jumped out to a 33-19 first quarter lead. However, the Bulls got another magical performance from Michael Jordan as Chicago chipped away at the HEAT's lead to win the game, 119-114, and the series, 3-0. All five starters for Miami scored in double figures led by Glen Rice (25 points), Rony Seikaly (22 points/12 rebounds) and Steve Smith (19 points/six assists). Brian Shaw had 18 points and six assists and Grant Long scored 17 points. Only three Bulls scored in double figures led by Michael Jordan's 56 points. Scottie Pippen scored 31 points and B.J. Armstrong had 13 points.