Takeaways: Heat fall to the Bulls as problems surround depleted roster

The Miami Heat fell behind 33-8 and, though they nearly came back, never led in Thursday's loss to the Chicago Bulls.

Dec 14, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Kevin Love (42) and forward Caleb Martin (16)
Dec 14, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Kevin Love (42) and forward Caleb Martin (16) / Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
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Highlight of the game: Jamal Cain's block

With Miami down 33-9 late in the first quarter, the Bulls had a chance to extend the lead, but Jamal Cain had other plans. Cain met Patrick Williams at the rim for an emphatic fastbreak block that sparked energy into the Heat. 

The Bulls came out of the gate knocking down triples, enough to secure them a lead of more than 20 points in the first quarter. Cain’s block was able to give some sort of life to what looked like a drained Heat team. Miami went into the locker room down 60-56, riding a 12-3 run after the block. 

“We didn’t start the game with a lot of juice, and we’re not going to make any excuses about it," said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. "I shortened the rotation. You have to go for wins whenever you can get them. We started a little but sluggish, but I loved the spirit that everybody brought in the second quarter. It was a game in the second half, and then they definitely made more plays."

Despite spurted success from the Heat’s reserves, they couldn’t find a way to grab the lead. The Bulls maintained distance throughout the entire matchup, having their way on the offensive end.