Hassan Whiteside’s return pushes Miami Heat past Chicago Bulls

MIAMI, FL - NOVEMBER 1: Goran Dragic
MIAMI, FL - NOVEMBER 1: Goran Dragic /

Hassan Whiteside made his return on Wednesday night, pushing the Miami Heat to a win over the Chicago Bulls.

After missing the last five games, Hassan Whiteside made his return tonight as the Miami Heat pulled off a 97-91 win over the Chicago Bulls. Whiteside got off to a fast start, accumulating a double-double well before the second half.

Whiteside helped Miami get through the first quarter with a ten point lead. But, the Heat had no answer for Robin Lopez; a match-up that Whiteside would normally easily win, but often wasn’t paired with each other. Lopez came away with a season-high 22 points on the night.

A push in the second quarter grabbed the lead for the Bulls in the third, which remained for most of the quarter.

Some of the Heat’s struggles continued tonight due to Dion Waiters. Coming off of his 33-point performance, Waiters went back to his season starting form. However, despite often struggling to find himself in this one, Waiters still found 13 points and seven boards.

With Whiteside making his comeback Bam Adebayo was limited to 13 minutes. Even with the little amount of action, Adebayo had four points and four boards. Just two day ago, the rookie had his first double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds.

In just 13 minutes Adebayo still showed the effort the Heat needed out of him.

Tyler Johnson gave the Heat a great second half push, adding 19 points on the night. He played 31 minutes off the bench, continuing to show the asset he can be on the second team.

The highlight of the game though was Goran Dragic, who had another stout performance. While the three-point struggles still continued, Dragic made his money everywhere else. He finished the evening with 20 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. While the game seemed to be a game of runs, Dragic stayed consistent.

"“It was a roller-coaster game,” Dragic said. “We’re happy how we bounced back.”"

Dragic certainly gave head coach Erik Spoelstra a great birthday present to top off the night.

The team’s homestand comes to an end, as they now will go on the road for the next six games, spanning over the next 12 days. 17 of the next 24 games are on the road.

Next: The Miami Heat may have found their productive second unit

Fortunately, tonight’s win snaps the Heat’s three-game losing streak. But sadly, the road trip might be more difficult than what the Heat have already experienced.