Bulls come up short against Heat, 100-93

Bulls drop a back-and-forth matinee to Miami

If you can’t stand the Heat, well, try to shoot better. It may not be exactly what Harry Truman once said, but it was enough to explain Sunday’s Miami 100-93 victory over the Bulls.

The Bulls after a 16.7 percent shooting first quarter (in which they were the more accurate team) were burned late in the fourth quarter by the Heat.

The Bulls were led by Jerian Grant with 24 points, his second consecutive game of at least 20 points. Justin Holiday had 15 points. Denzel Valentine had 14 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists. Lauri Markkanen and Bobby Portis each had 11 points. The Bulls shot 37.9 percent overall, though were a solid 14 of 33 on threes.

The Bulls fell to 3-15. Miami is 10-9. The Bulls host Phoenix Tuesday in the United Center.

It was an unusual early Sunday afternoon start, and neither team seemed awake at first. The Bulls led 13-7 after one quarter with neither team shooting 20 percent. Miami was two of 19. The Bulls’ 16.7 percent was the first quarter leader as Markkanen’s pair of threes led the way. There were, obviously, a lot of rebounds with a combined 35 in the quarter. Miami got its shooters into the game to open the second quarter and Wayne Ellington converted a trio of three pointers to change the tempo into an NBA game.

Valentine, threatening a triple double, responded with a pair of three pointers as the teams began to exchange leads and the Bulls led 36-35 with 3:36 left in the half. Miami made 10 of their first 13 shots in the second quarter. Both teams then shot more than 50 percent in the second quarter as Miami blistered it at 68.4 percent and six of 11 threes. The Bulls were three of five threes in the second quarter and shot 57.1 percent. But Miami led 45-42 at halftime with Ellington 10 points off the bench. No Bulls player was in double figure scoring in the first half, but the Bulls were six of 14 overall on threes. Kris Dunn struggled at zero for six shooting in the half, but he had three steals.

Dunn then had two early turnovers to open the third quarter, a pass picked off and a travel. Miami used that to extend out to a 49-42 lead before Valentine again rallied the Bulls with a three pointer. Grant with runner and a three then tied the game at 56 with 2:28 left in the third quarter as Grant closed with Dunn limited. The teams reverted to below 40 percent shooting in the third quarter and 19 points each as Miami held onto a 64-61 lead through three quarters. Ellington with 13 was high for both teams through three quarters.

There had been 16 lead changes and 10 ties through three. The Bulls didn’t have any fast break points through three as Dunn and Antonio Blakeney were a combined zero for 11 going into the fourth quarter. Miami then took a lead with former Bull James Johnson driving hard to the basket. Miami used that for an 80-76 lead with 6:39 left in the game. Goran Tragic then finished a pair of drives to beat the Bulls mostly good defense for an 88-81 lead with four minutes remaining. Ellington added another three to effectively clinch the victory for Miami.

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