May 21, 2024

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“We want Boston” chants from Heat fans as Miami oust Chicago Bulls, 112-91 

4 min read
MIAMI HEAT STAY ALIVE. The Miami Heat keep their hopes alive after eliminating the Chicago Bulls in a 112-91 victory in the NBA play-in game held on Friday night, (Saturday, April 20, Philippine time). MIAMI HEAT PHOTO

The Miami Heat fans made their desires clear as the clock wound down in the fourth quarter of Friday night’s (Saturday, April 20, Philippine time) play-in game against the Chicago Bulls. 

“We want Boston,” echoed throughout the arena, setting the stage for an anticipated rematch of the last two Eastern Conference finals.

Despite the absence of Jimmy Butler due to a sprained knee, the Heat secured their playoff spot with a convincing 112-91 victory over the Bulls. Tyler Herro starred for Miami with 24 points, narrowly missing out on a triple-double by recording 10 rebounds and nine assists. Rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. contributed 21 points to ensure the Heat clinched the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra reflected on the team’s hard-earned achievement, emphasizing the value of perseverance and collective effort. 

Spoelstra emphasized the necessity of earning their playoff spot through collective effort and perseverance, highlighting that such achievements cannot be bought or influenced but must be earned through teamwork and determination.

Miami seized control early in the game with a commanding 19-0 run in the first quarter, setting the tone for the night. A decisive 14-0 surge in the second half further cemented their dominance and extinguished any hopes of a Bulls comeback.

DeMar DeRozan led the scoring effort for Chicago with 22 points, supported by Nikola Vucevic’s double-double of 16 points and 14 rebounds. Coby White added 13 points for the Bulls, who fell short in their bid to overcome the resilient Heat defense.

The pivotal 19-0 run propelled Miami from an 11-6 deficit to a commanding 25-11 lead early in the game. Jaquez and Nikola Jovic combined for 11 points during this surge, establishing a 17-point advantage by the end of the first quarter and extending it to 20 in the second.

Despite both teams experiencing offensive struggles throughout the game, the Heat’s defensive prowess ultimately proved decisive. Chicago managed to shoot just 38% from the field, while Miami capitalized on key scoring runs to secure the win.

Looking ahead, the Heat face a daunting task against the Boston Celtics in the opening round of the playoffs. Spoelstra acknowledged the challenge posed by the Celtics, who finished the regular season with an NBA-best 64 wins and are motivated to avenge last year’s playoff defeat to Miami.

Spoelstra expressed gratitude for reaching the playoffs and appreciated the opportunity provided by the team’s collective effort, indicating that the players also value this opportunity.

With the stage set for a compelling playoff matchup against the Celtics, the Heat aim to channel their trademark toughness and resilience to make an impact in the postseason once again.

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