Five takeaways: Rally falls short as Bulls snap Heat seven-game win streak

Miami Heat’s Hassan Whiteside (21) battles Chicago Bulls’ Robin Lopez (42) for a rebound during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Jan. 15, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

CHICAGO – The Miami Heat had their seven-game win streak snapped Monday, but may have avoided what could have been a more serious loss.

The Bulls handled the Heat, 119-111, in their Martin Luther King Day matinée at the United Center, a game that turned in the final two minutes of the second quarter.

Tyler Johnson had to be wheeled off the court early in the third quarter after landing awkwardly on a drive to the basket. The injury appeared more serious as Johnson remained on the court for a couple of minutes. But the official report from the Heat was that Johnson suffered a sprained left ankle and that X-rays were negative.

Coach Erik Spoelstra said the injury is to the back of Johnson’s ankle.

The Heat already are without guard Dion Waiters for the rest of the season and Johnson has replaced Waiters in the starting lineup.

The Heat, who lost for the first time in 2018, looked like a team playing on the second day of a back-to-back with a 1,400-mile flight between games. Miami (25-18) trailed by as many as 19 points in the third quarter before rallying but still falling short.

Spoelstra was not happy with the defense.

“It was pretty disgusting basketball,” Spoelstra said specifically about the end of the first half. “We were up five and then, all of a sudden, we’re going to the locker room and we’re down seven.

“I don’t know what our record is in Heat franchise history when we give up 120. I would guess that’s probably not pretty good.”

The Heat had three 20-point scorers, led by Goran Dragic’s 22 points. Kelly Olynyk chipped in with 21 and Wayne Ellington added 20. Dragic had nine assists and Olynyk had eight. Hassan Whiteside finished with nine points and eight rebounds in 20 minutes and sat the final 18 minutes.

Here are our five takeaways:

Costly two minutes: Miami pushed its lead to 46-41 on a Tyler Johnson runner late in the first half but a Lauri Markkanen layup started a stretch in which the Bulls finished on a 14-2 run to take a 55-48 lead into the locker room. The Bulls made their final five shots of the half and Zach LaVine had a four-point play in the final second. Chicago then slowly pulled away and built the lead to 19 in the third quarter.

“We weren’t communicating very well,” Josh Richardson said. “And we were not giving them enough static on the 3-point line. And we weren’t taking care of the ball very well at the end of the first half, so that led to them getting momentum plays.”

Heat run out of gas: Miami has shown during its streak that it is resilient and capable of overcoming a deficit. And it almost happened again Sunday, but this time the rally fell short. Miami trailed by 19 points with 4:36 to play in the third quarter and slowly cut into the deficit. The Heat got within five points three times late in the game, the last with 22.9 seconds to play on a three-point play by Olynyk. The Bulls were able to keep their distance, however, by hitting timely 3-pointer, goings 16-of-39 for the game. Chicago had 17 threes in their previous game. Spoelstra was asked if it was individual effort or rotations.

“Probably all of the above, including whatever coaching preparation we had going into it,” he said. “They lit us up.”

Tyler Johnson in pain: Johnson’s injury occurred when he got caught up with Bulls center Brook Lopez under the basket with 7:31 remaining in the third quarter. Johnson grabbed his left leg when he landed and remained on the floor, at the end away from the team bench, as the entire team and coaching staff gathered around him. Eventually, Johnson was wheeled to the locker room. He had 10 points and three assists in 20 minutes.  The Heat are going to see how Johnson feels in the morning before determining if an MRI is needed.

“I was scared,” Richardson said. “You never want to see a guy, whether it’s on your team or the other team, down like that. So really my first thought was go check on him … see if he was OK, see if he could walk, see how bad he thought it was.”

Backing up Player of the Week award: Dragic struggled early after learning he was the Eastern Conference Player of the Week, but he rallied in the second half to finish with at least 20 points for the fourth consecutive game. Dragic was just 3-of-11 from the floor in the first three quarters but finished 7-of-17, although he missed all six of his 3-point attempts.  Dragic won the player of the week award for the second time this season for averaging 23.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists in Miami’s three wins during the week.

“My legs were heavy; that’s normal,” Dragic said. “We knew we were not going to feel good going into this game. No excuses. I didn’t feel well when we had a back-to-back in Indiana (last week), and I had a great game. It’s not about that. It’s all mental. I tried to push myself as much as possible. I did come alive in the second half, but that was not enough. I should do a better job, especially in the first half.”

The rematch: Miami and Milwaukee play just three times this season, twice in a four-day span, including Wednesday in Milwaukee. The Bucks will have revenge on their minds after being stomped 97-79 in Miami on Sunday. The Heat outscored the Bucks, 56-36 in the second half and held Milwaukee to 31.6 percent shooting, including 14.3 percent on 3-pointers. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 22 points on 6-of-12 shooting but the Bucks other stars, Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe were a combined 7-of-23.

[Heat guard Goran Dragic named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for second time this season]

[With deadlines approaching, Heat sticking with their two two-way players, expected to file for disabled player exception]

[Mailbag: Will Heat player get voted into All-Star game if winning continues?]

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