Once word got out that Miami Heat‘s LeBron James was out of the lineup due to a broken nose, the Chicago Bulls should have taken advantage. Instead, they were overwhelmed by the Heat’s defensive pressure and got dominated in the end, 93-79.
The game was very close in the first half as both teams had trouble scoring. It was tied 40-40 at halftime and neither team seemed to break free. Once the third quarter started, the Heat started making shots and forcing the Bulls to commit silly turnovers. The Heat’s defense was so on point that they forced the Bulls to have seven shot clock violations. The offense was very stagnant in the second half and they stopped moving the ball around. The Bulls have not looked this bad in quite some time, and this loss snapped a five-game winning streak.
The Bulls couldn’t get any consistency in the second half. They were looking around at each other wondering what hit them. The Heat methodically beat them to the punch in every way. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh stepped it up big time in the absence of James, proving they can get it done without the leader of the Heat.
The Bulls played with passion and never gave up once the game got out of hand. They kept fighting and clawing back, but it wasn’t enough as they ran out of gas in the end. Joakim Noah led the charge with 20 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks. Taj Gibson put in 20 points and 10 rebounds off the bench. The Bulls were without Jimmy Butler, who is nursing sore ribs. D.J. Augustin, who has been a revelation to the offense, could not get anything going as he went 0-for-10 from the field.
This is the type of game the Bulls would of won in the beginning of the year but not down the stretch run to make the playoffs. The Bulls just have to eliminate those bad games where they go through lengthy scoring droughts.