Heat in search of consecutive victories vs. Bulls

NBA

Duncan Robinson’s brief shooting slump appears to be over, which bodes well for the Miami Heat.

Robinson, a career 42.2 shooter from 3-point range, tied a season high Saturday night by making 3-point shots in Miami’s 106-101 victory over the visiting Chicago Bulls.

The production was significant after Robinson was just 4 of 17 (23.5 percent) on 3-pointers in Miami’s two previous games. On Saturday, he made his first four long-range attempts – all in the game’s first four-plus minutes – and finished 7 of 15 (47.1 percent) from long range.

On Monday night, when the Heat (32-29) again host the Bulls (25-35), Miami will welcome more long-range productivity from Robinson.

“It feels good to see a couple of them go down early,” said Robinson, who has made at least two 3-pointers in a franchise-record 25 consecutive games. “I was disappointed I cooled down in the second half.”

The Heat led by as many as 24 points in Saturday’s game, but the Bulls cut that deficit to 103-101 with 15.8 seconds remaining. The Heat held on thanks to a pair of free throws by Kenrick Nunn with 12.7 seconds remaining.

“We got up big,” Nunn said. “It wasn’t 100 percent the game that we would’ve liked, but we got the ‘W’ and that’s all that matters.”

Miami also got some clutch play from former Bulls forward Jimmy Butler, who scored nine of his 20 points in the fourth quarter.

“When we play with grit, we are tough to beat,” Robinson said.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said there was an “edge and probably an angst” in his team’s effort after losing in Atlanta 118-103 on Friday night.

The Bulls got a game-high 31 points from speedy point guard Coby White, while Nikola Vucevic added 26 points, a game-high 14 rebounds and a team-high six assists. Vucevic, who was acquired from the Orlando Magic, not only has more points (103) than anybody against Miami this season, he has the most rebounds (52) as well.

Chicago coach Billy Donovan said Bulls leading scorer Zach LaVine will remain out of the lineup on Monday. LaVine, averaging 27.5 points, is under the league’s COVID-19 protocols and has not played since April 14.

“He’s basically by himself,” Donovan said of LaVine’s quarantine. “That isolation is challenging for anybody.”

The Bulls are 3-3 since LaVine was forced out of the lineup.

Miami has its own injury issues as Tyler Herro (foot) and Goral Dragic (back, knee) missed Saturday’s game. They combine to average 27.9 points.

A matchup to watch again Monday is the battle between a pair of versatile centers who can shoot, pass and rebound: Vucevic for Chicago and Miami’s Bam Adebayo.

Vucevic has been a pest against Miami for years from his previous stint in Orlando. In 33 career games against Miami, Vucevic has 19 double-doubles.

Adebayo, who had a game-high 10 assists to go with 20 points on Saturday, figures to be a challenge for the Bulls again.

–Field Level Media

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