Bulls blow must-win Play-In game to Heat: ‘It shouldn’t have ended like that’

The Chicago Bulls lost to the Miami Heat 91-102 in a must-win Play-In game and missed the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.

By Bing News Writer

April 15, 2023

The Chicago Bulls had a chance to make the playoffs for the first time since 2019, but they blew it in a heartbreaking loss to the Miami Heat 91-102 in a Play-In game on Saturday.

Bulls led by six in the fourth quarter, but collapsed down the stretch

The Bulls were up 81-75 with 7:35 left in the game, but they went cold and allowed the Heat to go on a 27-10 run to close out the game. The Bulls missed 11 of their last 14 shots and committed four turnovers in the final period.

"We were up," DeMar DeRozan said. "We just can’t make the mistakes that we made, especially in a game like this."²

DeRozan was the lone bright spot for the Bulls with 26 points and nine assists

DeRozan was the only Bull who showed up in the clutch, scoring 12 of his team-high 26 points in the fourth quarter. He also dished out nine assists and grabbed four rebounds. He was efficient from the field, shooting 10-of-18.

"He was great," Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. "He carried us offensively. He made plays for others. He was aggressive. He did everything he could."

Heat were led by Jimmy Butler and Max Strus, who combined for 62 points

The Heat had two players who scored more than 30 points each: Jimmy Butler and Max Strus. Butler had 31 points, five rebounds, and three assists on 11-of-19 shooting. Strus had a career-high 31 points off the bench on 10-of-15 shooting, including seven three-pointers.

"Jimmy was Jimmy," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "He was phenomenal. And Max was unbelievable. He was fearless. He was confident. He was ready."

Bulls missed the playoffs for the fourth straight season

The Bulls finished the regular season with a 40-42 record, good for third place in the Central Division and ninth place in the Eastern Conference. They qualified for the Play-In tournament as the ninth seed, but they failed to advance to the playoffs.

"It's disappointing," Zach LaVine said. "We worked hard all year. We had high expectations. We had a lot of talent. We had a lot of fight. But we came up short."

Heat advanced to face the Bucks in the first round of the playoffs

The Heat improved their record to 44-38, securing the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. They will face the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the playoffs, starting on Monday.

"We're excited," Bam Adebayo said. "We're ready for the challenge. We know what they're capable of. We know what we're capable of. It's going to be a great series."

Read more about Bulls news today 

 Source: Conversation with Bing, 4/15/2023 (1) Bulls blow must-win Play-In game to Heat: ‘It shouldn’t have ended like that’. https://theathletic.com/4414254/2023/04/15/bulls-heat-play-in-game/. (2) . https://bing.com/search?q=bulls+news+today. (3) Bulls fans furious over confounding Coby White decision in Play-In unraveling vs. Heat. https://clutchpoints.com/bulls-news-chicago-fans-furious-confounding-coby-white-decision-play-in-unraveling-vs-heat. (4) Heat eliminate Bulls 102-91, will face Bucks in Round 1. https://www.nbc15.com/2023/04/15/heat-eliminate-bulls-102-91-will-face-bucks-round-1/. (5) Bulls News, Scores, Stats, Rumors & More - ESPN. https://www.espn.com/nba/team/_/name/chi. (6) Bulls News, Scores, Stats, Rumors & More - ESPN. https://www.espn.com/nba/team/_/name/chi/chicago-bulls.

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