Bulls try to turn down Heat
(Sports Network) – The Miami Heat hope the good news continues this
evening when they host the Chicago Bulls at AmericanAirlines Arena.
The Heat have won three straight and 11-of-15 overall, and are currently
riding a nine-game home winning streak. Miami is sixth overall in the
Eastern Conference and is a mere four games back of Washington for the lead in
the Southeast Division.
In addition to the burst of wins, the Heat learned on Monday that star guard
Dwyane Wade, out with a dislocated left shoulder, will try rehab his injury
instead of having season-ending surgery.
Wade suffered his injury on February 21 against the Rockets, but the Heat have
gone a somewhat surprising 4-2 without Wade in the lineup since he injured his
Atlanta became Miami’s latest victim on Monday, as Eddie Jones netted a
season-high 21 points and Shaquille O’Neal added 14 points and nine rebounds
in the 88-81 victory at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Gary Payton scored 11 points and James Posey compiled 10 points and five
rebounds for Miami, which is 18-10 as the host this season. Tonight’s tilt is
the third on a six-game homestand for Miami.
The Heat did suffer a minor setback on Monday when long-range sniper Jason
Kapono left the game with a sprained left ankle and did not return. Kapono had
X-rays that were negative, but is expected to miss at least the next 10 days.
The Heat have lost their last four games to Chicago, including three setbacks
this season. A win by the Bulls tonight would give them their first season
sweep of Miami since taking all four meetings in the 1991-92 season.
The Bulls have put together a nice winning streak of their own, as Chicago
bested Milwaukee, 126-121, in overtime on Sunday to claim victory for the
third straight game.
Ben Gordon poured in a career-high 48 points and his 20 fourth-quarter points
helped Chicago rally from an 18-point fourth-quarter deficit. Luol Deng posted
27 points, Kirk Hinrich added 23 points and Ben Wallace pulled down 12
rebounds in the victory.
Chicago is playing the second of a four-game road swing and is 11-19 as the
visitor this season.
The Bulls lead the Heat by 3 1/2 games for the fifth spot in the conference
standings and trail Detroit by four games in the Central Division.