GAME NIGHT FROM THE UNITED CENTER
Miami: (49-28, 22-16 on the road). At Bulls: ( 45-32, 27-10 at home), 7PM
RADIO: 670 The Score : Chuck Swirsky, Stephen Bardo and Alyssa Bergamini . 6:45 pregame
TV: NBCSCH- Adam Amin and Stacey King . 7PM.
LEADING SCORERS: Bulls: DeRozan: 28 pig. Miami: Butler: 21 ppg.
LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bulls- Vucevic (11), Miami- Adebayo (10)
LEADING ASSISTS: Bulls- DeRozan (5), Miami- Lowry (7)
SEASON SERIES: Miami 3-0.
CCI PREVIEW: After a thrilling OT win over the Clippers the Bulls face a different style of play in Miami. The Heat bring the physicality of Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, PJ Tucker and Kyle Lowry.
The Heat have won two straight after a losing streak that saw Butler, Udonis Haslem and Head Coach Eric Spoelstra get into a heated verbal exchange during a time out in the Heat loss to the Warriors.
Haslem is very protective of his head coach and wasn't about to see Butler control the moment. Emotions, especially this time of year, tend to boil over-winning solves mostly everything.
The Heat are playoff ready but it remains to be seen who will secure the top spot in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls must be prepared for the toughness and grit of the Heat and close out on the wings and corners when Duncan Robinson, Lowry and Tyler Herro handle the ball. All three can launch 3-pointers. Herro is a lock for Sixth Man of the Year award.
The Bulls need to bring energy and toughness from the opening tip.
The Bulls celebrate during a timeout against the Clippers on Thursday.
CCI 24 SECONDS NBA NEWS AND NOTES
New Orleans Pelicans 114 Los Angeles Lakers 111: The return of LeBron James and Anthony Davis couldn't save the Lakers. The ninth place Pels have won six of eight.
Los Angeles Clippers 153 Milwaukee 119: Robert Covington scored a career 43 points for the Clippers, setting a franchise record with 11 made three pointers. The Clippers played without four starters including Paul George. The Bucks rested three players: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday.
Boston 128, Indiana 123: Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum combined for 63 points. The Pacers have dropped six straight.
Washington 135, Dallas 103: Kristaps Porzingis scored 24 points against his former team.
Toronto 102, Orlando 89: Pascal Siakam had 16 points and 11 rebounds as the Raps won their fifth straight.
Detroit 110, Oklahoma City 101: The two teams have a combined record of 44-111.
Memphis 122, Phoenix 114: Dillon Brooks scored 30 points in. Matchup of the NBA's top two teams. Memphis is 55-23. The Suns: 62-15. Devin Booker had 41 points for the Suns.
Sacramento 122, Houston 117: Harrison Barnes scored 25 points as the Kings beat the Rockets for the second time in three nights.
San Antonio 130, Portland 111: The Spurs remain in 10th place in the Western Conference.
Minnesota 136, Denver 130: In a battle of bigs, Minnesota's Karl-Anthony Towns scored 32 points. Denver's Nikola Jokic 38-19 rebounds.