NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, December 5th (All times Eastern)
Miami Heat (14-4) at Chicago Bulls (7-9), 9:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Miami Heat will exit the comfy confines of home when they embark on a four-game road trip, starting with Thursday's matchup against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center.
Miami had its season-high 10-game winning streak come to an end with Tuesday's 107-97 loss to the Detroit Pistons and played without guard Dwyane Wade because of sore knees. LeBron James once again led the Heat with 23 points to go along with six assists and five rebounds.
James has scored in double figures in 513 consecutive games. Moses Malone is next on the list at 526 games from Oct. 4, 1978 - March 4, 1985.
Michael Beasley added 23 points off the bench and Chris Bosh registered 14 for the Heat, who were down 28-18 after the first quarter and trailed by as many as 17 in the fourth quarter. The Heat trimmed the Pistons' lead to 91-88, but would get no closer the rest of the way.
Detroit scored 29 points off 19 Miami turnovers and held the Heat to 43.9 percent shooting.
The Heat will try to extend their road winning streak to six games Thursday and are 5-2 as the guest. Miami will also make stops in Minnesota, Detroit and Indiana.
Meanwhile, Wade is probable against the Bulls and is averaging 18.5 points, 5.4 assists and 4.6 rebounds this season. Wade has scored 20-plus points in four of his previous five games.
Chicago opened its four-game homestand with Monday's 131-128 triple-overtime loss to the New Orleans Pelicans after going 1-5 on its previous road trip.
The Bulls were outscored, 9-6, in the third extra period and suffered their first home loss of the season (5-1). Luol Deng did all he could to propel the Bulls to victory with 37 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Deng has tallied five straight games with 20 or more points, averaging 27.4 points per game in that stretch.
Taj Gibson posted a career-best 26 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, while Mike Dunleavy netted 23 points. Chicago was coming off a late loss at Cleveland and is just 1-6 in the past seven games overall.
"We are just one play away the last two games, but the games are there for us," Gibson told NBA.com.
Joakim Noah ended with 19 points and 10 rebounds versus the Pelicans and Kirk Hinrich chipped in 13 points, 11 assists and six rebounds for his first double-double of the season. Hinrich, of course, is seeing more action with star guard Derrick Rose expected to miss the rest of the season after undergoing another knee surgery.
Rose is scheduled to address the media for the first time since his season- ending surgery to repair a torn medial meniscus in his right knee after Thursday's shootaround.
The Bulls, who are allowing just 94.6 ppg, still have Detroit and Milwaukee slated to visit the United Center, and suffered a 107-95 loss at Miami on Oct. 29. James had 17 points to lead seven players in double figures and Carlos Boozer scored a game-high 31 points to pace the Bulls, who have dropped four of six games against Miami.
Miami has lost 10 of 13 trips to the Windy City.
12/05 10:27:44 ET