The Chicago Bulls came from behind to defeat the Toronto Raptors 109-105 in the 9-10 seed game in the Eastern Conference play-in tournament on Wednesday night at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. The Bulls were down by as much as 17 points and stormed back behind 39 points from Zach LaVine. The Raptors missed 18 free throws, including on miss late by Pascal Siakam with a chance to tie the game.
The Heat lost by 11 to the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night to drop down to the 8-seed game. Instead of having to take on the Boston Celtics, the Heat will need a win and then to take out the Bucks, which feels like a stretch. Jimmy Butler needs to bounce back if the Heat want to stay alive. Butler shot 6-of-19 from the floor with 21 points in the loss to the Hawks. Miami is going to need something from someone other than Butler, Kyle Lowry and Bam Adebayo to advance.
The Bulls clawed during the second-half of the schedule to get into the play-in and now have a shot to face the Bucks again in the first round. Chicago got carried in the second half by LaVine after a slow start. The Bulls have some scrappy guards in Patrick Beverley and Alex Caruso, plus gamers in DeRozan and LaVine. The Bulls will now have to go on the road and rip off another win after becoming the only 10-seed to advance in the play-in.
At first glance, the Heat should have the edge over the Bulls at home and with an extra day of rest. Miami matches up well and have the players to counter LaVine and Nikola Vucevic down low. Despite success against Miami, in a close contest give me the Heat and Butler to advance.
Heat vs. Bulls
Head-to-head record: CHI 3-0
Overall record: MIA 44-38, CHI 40-42
Leading scorer on Heat: Jimmy Butler
Leading scorer on Bulls: Zach LaVine
Spread: Heat -5.5
Moneyline: MIA -215, CHI +185
Date: Friday, April 14
Time: 7 p.m. ET
TV channel: TNT
Livestream: WatchTNT app, Hulu, YouTube TV