The Miami Heat moved to within a half game of the playoffs again on Monday when the Milwaukee Bucks started their six-game road trip with a 113-93 loss in Memphis.
The Bucks, who hold the No. 8 seed, are 32-34 after snapping their six-game winning streak. Milwaukee has 16 games remaining with 11 on the road, including the next five at the Clippers, the Lakers, Golden State, Portland and Sacramento.
The Heat and Chicago are both 32-35. The Bulls won at Charlotte on Monday.
Coach Erik Spoelstra’s Heat have won 21-of-26 games and conclude the season with nine of their final 15 games at home, including a five-game home stand starting Wednesday against New Orleans, when Miami gets its first look at the Pelicans front line of DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis. Cousins was dealt to New Orleans from Sacramento before the trading deadline.
Four of those games are against Western Conference teams with records below .500 before the home stand ends with Toronto returning for its second game in Miami in 12 days.
The status of point guard and leading scorer Goran Dragic for Wednesday’s game still is unknown after Dragic suffered an orbital contusion to his right eye when he was elbowed by Toronto’s Cory Joseph on Saturday. The eye was swollen shut, causing Dragic to miss the Heat’s loss in Indiana on Sunday.
The Heat remain 1.5 games behind No. 7 Detroit and 2.5 behind No. 6 Indiana. Miami has the tie-breaker on Milwaukee and Indiana. The Bulls own the tie-breaker on the Heat. Miami has lost 2-of-3 against the Pistons with one game remaining in Detroit.