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[January 27, 2017]
Dwyane Wade's old team is visiting just
as his new team seems to be coming apart. Wade and the Chicago Bulls
will try to heal some of the fractures within the team and bounce
back from a tough loss when they host the Miami Heat on Friday.
The Bulls gave up 41 fourth-quarter points, including a 19-4
game-ending run, in a 119-114 home loss to the Atlanta Hawks on
Wednesday, and both Wade and All-Star Jimmy Butler had some harsh
words for their teammates after the game. "I don't know what
happened," Wade told reporters. "But we continue to be in these
kinds of situations and lose games like this. Everyone don't care
enough. You got to care enough, man. It's got to mean that much to
you to want to win. And it doesn't. So I don't know what happened."
The Heat, with whom Wade spent the first 13 years of his career
before leaving as a free agent last summer, are 14th out of 15 teams
in the Eastern Conference but are playing their best basketball
right now and enter the matchup with a five-game winning streak.
Miami took the opener of its two-game road trip 109-106 at Brooklyn
on Wednesday - the fourth time during the winning streak that the
team pulled out a win decided by six points or fewer.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Sun (Miami), CSN Chicago
ABOUT THE HEAT (16-30): Miami's ability to pull out close games of
late comes down to shooting guard Dion Waiters burying clutch
jumpers. Waiters, who is averaging 30 points on 61.4 percent
shooting in the last three games, knocked down the go-ahead
3-pointer in the final second of Monday's 105-102 triumph over the
NBA-best Golden State Warriors and nailed another key 3-pointer down
the stretch in Wednesday's triumph. "He has that almost irrational
confidence," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters of Waiters.
"You need that. I feel very comfortable with the ball in his hands,
especially in key, clutch moments."
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ABOUT THE BULLS (23-24): Wade (33) and Butler (40) combined for 73
points on Wednesday, and both questioned their teammates' desire to
win after the loss. "At the end of the day, do whatever it takes to
help the team win," Butler told reporters. "You play your role to
the T. Be a star in your role, man. That's how you win in this
league, man. You have to embrace what this team, what this
organization needs for you to do on either end of the floor. On top
of everything else, just play every possession like it's your last.
We don't play hard all the time. It's very disappointing whenever we
don't play hard.'' Reserve small forward Doug McDermott (10 points
on 4-of-9 shooting in 23 minutes) was the only other player in
1. Bulls PF Nikola Mirotic is 2-of-15 from 3-point range in the last
2. Miami C Hassan Whiteside (ankle) left Wednesday's game and is
questionable for Friday.
3. Wade averaged 20.5 points in a pair of wins over Miami earlier
PREDICTION: Bulls 103, Heat 101
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