Miami Heat guard Gabe Vincent lies on the court after a collision during the second half of the team's NBA basketball play-in tournament game against the Atlanta Hawks, Tuesday, April 11, 2023, in Miami. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Heat to host Bulls in play-in

The Chicago Bulls will take a trip to South Beach to take on the Miami Heat Friday evening. The winner will clinch the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference and face the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

Heat

Miami’s first play-in game gave them a chance to clinch the 7th seed in the East, but now they face potential elimination. After a disappointing performance against the Hawks, Jimmy Butler said they have to “play exact opposite” on Friday.

Trae Young’s 25 points and Clint Capela’s 21 rebounds were instrumental in the Hawks victory. The Heat were outrebounded 63-39 and outhustled all over the floor. “Rebounding was just horrendous,” Butler said.

After going down by 15 at halftime, Miami tried to respond in the second half, but to no avail. The Hawks took the game 116-105.

Despite the loss Miami does have some positive things to look towards. Kyle Lowry posted his best total as a heat player with 33 points. Butler and Tyler Herro added 21 and 26, respectively. However, the Heat are 0-3 against the Bulls this season and will have to snap that streak if they hope to find themselves in the playoffs.

Bulls

Facing a 19-point deficit in Toronto, it looked like the Bulls season was coming to an end. Following a Raptors three to extend the lead to 19, Zach Lavine immediately responded with a three-point play where Chicago’s comeback began.

The fourth quarter was all Bulls as they began to chip away at the lead. Chicago’s defense was on display as they held the Raptors to just 20 points in the fourth. Lavine began making tough shot after tough shot until Chicago and Toronto exchanged leads late in the fourth.

“His performance was extraordinary,” said Coach Billy Donovan. “It gave us life and it gave us hope.”

Chicago held on for the 109-105 victory.

Lavine finished with 39 points and was helped by former Raptor DeMar DeRozan who added 23.

Already 3-0 against the Heat this season, Chicago has won the turnover battle in each matchup. They will look to do the same Friday night.

About Jake Bower

Sophomore journalism major at the University of Florida.

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