The Bulls rallied from a 21-point deficit in the first quarter to defeat the Heat and snap a 3-game lead
10 Notes: Bulls rebound from 21-point, first-quarter deficit to overcome Heat, surprising 3-game skid originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Submitted by National Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich
The Chicago Bulls overcame a 21-point first-quarter deficit to defeat the Miami Heat 102-97 at the United Center.
Here are 10 notes:
— Dennis Rodman presented the game ball and received a standing ovation. This was probably the highlight of the night leading up to the fourth quarter rally.
— Slow starts have plagued the Bulls lately. But they took things to a new level this time, missing their first 10 shots and committing three turnovers before Zach LaVine’s layup at 4 minutes, 48 seconds. They were down 22-1 at the time, drawing boos from the under-capacity crowd. Coach Billy Donovan burned two timeouts in that stretch, though one came to challenge an offensive foul on DeMar DeRozan. Conveniently, the Bulls lost the challenge.
— Donovan talked about the slow start before the game. “You’re either going to come out of the ring like Mike Tyson or you’re going to come out of the ring swaying and swaying,” he said. “We have to come out like (Tyson). We have to be able to sustain him. Instead, the Bulls got punched in the mouth early again.
— The full reserve unit of Ayo Dosunmu, Jevon Carter, Torrey Craig, Patrick Williams and Andre Drummond injected some energy into the game. Dosunmu attacked with a full head of steam on a transition layup attempt, drawing a foul. Drummond is dipped in salad. Craig and Carter made defensive stops and quick decisions. The Bulls went on a 11-0 run.
— Overall, the Bulls shot 5-for-20 in the first quarter with three turnovers. They trailed by as much as 21 points. They scored 14 points, worsening their first-quarter scoring average of 25.3 points.
—But the reserve unit continued its role, with some starters returning. The Bulls actually fell within two points just over halfway through the second quarter. But the poor result in the first half reduced the gap to 10 points at the end of the first half.
— Carter attempted six 3-pointers in eight first-half minutes. Between his quick decision-making, ability to let him fly beyond the arc (especially in transition) and his defensive energy, Carter makes a case for playing more. But that’s one problem with the roster: It’s guard-heavy, so at whose expense does Carter play more? Coby White has struggled lately, but he played well early. Dosunmu remains fearless on offense. It is clear that LaVine and Caruso will log important minutes.
— It took until the final minute of the third quarter for one of DeRozan or LaVine to score in double figures. DeRozan connected on free throws. While he attempted nine free throws and LaVine had four assists through three quarters, neither man made more than eight shots. Overall, DeRozan went 6-for-12 with 23 points, while LaVine went 5-for-10 for 13 points. To his credit, LaVine got what the defense gave him and finished with eight rebounds and six assists while playing competitive defense.
— The Bulls shot 44.4 percent overall. The Heat played a lot of zone, challenging the Bulls to beat them from the outside. The Bulls attempted a season-high 45 3-pointers, making 16. Their commitment to that is what ultimately fueled their comeback. In fact, they tied the game for the first time on DeRozan’s 3-pointer with 1:39 left. They took their first lead of the night on a Caruso 3-pointer with 51.8 remaining.
— DeRozan scored 10 of his 21 in the fourth period, including a go-ahead midrange shot with 21.9 seconds left.
Click here to follow the Bulls Talk Podcast.