NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, April 14th (All times Eastern)
Chicago Bulls (43-36) at Miami Heat (63-16), 1 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Revenge will be on the Miami Heat's minds Sunday afternoon when they host the Chicago Bulls at American Airlines Arena.
It was the Bulls who ended the Heat's 27-game winning streak back on Mar. 27. The winning streak was the second-longest in NBA history and the Bulls ended it in their arena.
After that loss, LeBron James complained passionately about some fouls Bulls players took on him. The Bulls played their style - a physical, pounding defensive battle.
The Heat are preparing for the same thing on Sunday.
"I expect nothing less than physical, the whole game will be physical," said James. "Once you get on the floor, you go out and play. You don't shy away from it."
The Heat have rested players since the streak ended. Miami already wrapped up homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs, so will James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh even be in the lineup Sunday?
"If Spo (head coach Erik Spoelstra) allows me to," James said. "If he allows me to, I'll be in uniform. We'll see."
Since the streak came to an end, the Heat are 7-1 and have won five in a row. On Friday night, the Heat had their whole team together, and bested the Boston Celtics, 109-101.
James led the way against the Celtics with 20 points in almost 29 minutes. Rashard Lewis added 19, Bosh and Ray Allen both had 17, Norris Cole chipped in 12 and Wade, who sat out the last six, scored 11.
"It was good getting out there, trying to get in a groove," said Wade.
The Heat visit the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday, then close out the regular season at home against the Orlando Magic.
The Bulls have struggled since ending the streak. They are 4-5, although one of those victories, a 118-111 overtime thriller at home on Thursday, snapped the New York Knicks' 13-game winning streak.
One night later, the Bulls fell in Toronto on Friday, 97-88. Without Derrick Rose obviously, and All-Star center Joakim Noah, the Bulls committed 18 turnovers in the loss.
"It is the nature of the league," said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. "What happened yesterday has no bearing on today. We started the game well, but in the second quarter we struggled a bit. We got behind the eight ball. It was a combination of a soft defense and turning the ball over. We still had the opportunity to get back into it. But we shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times."
Carlos Boozer and Nazr Mohammed both had double-doubles and Nate Robinson had 17 off the bench. Luol Deng added 10 points and eight assists.
The Bulls sit in the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference, just one-half game behind the Atlanta Hawks. Chicago finishes the regular season in Orlando on Monday and at home against the Washington Wizards on Wednesday.
The Bulls have taken two of three from the Heat this season, including the only game played in Miami. Chicago's victory on Jan. 4 snapped a four-game losing streak in South Beach.
04/14 10:20:34 ET