Not only were the Bulls without the services of Derrick Rose and Rip Hamilton, both Joakim Noah and Marco Belinelli were out of the lineup as well.
Despite the absences of several players, the Bulls squeaked out a stunning 101-97 win over the Heat, snapping the second-longest winning streak in league history.
Chicago struggled with its ball-handling in stretches, turning the ball over 18 times, while allowing 54 points in the paint.
However, thanks to a 43-31 edge on the glass, combined with 27 assists on 40 field goals, the Bulls had just enough to cool off the Heat.
Here is a quick look at my most valuable players for the Bulls in one of the team’s biggest wins of the season.
Luol Deng paced the Bulls with 28 points, seven rebounds and five assists, marking the second time in three outings that he has topped the 20-point plateau.
What was even more impressive was Deng connected on 4-of-8 from beyond the arc. This is an impressive stat for a player who was only shooting 30 percent from three-point range prior to this game.
In a previous article, I mentioned that Deng would need to be aggressive on the offensive end if the Bulls were going to have a chance at winning this game, and he did not disappoint.
Here is to hoping this trend will continue as the season winds down.
Carlos Boozer recorded his fourth consecutive double-double, scoring 21 points, while pulling down 17 rebounds.
His defense on Chris Bosh was poor at times, but he gave the Bulls some much-needed scoring inside, and his rebounding is a big reason why the Bulls won the battle on the boards.
With Marco Belinelli out of the lineup, Jimmy Butler made his third consecutive start at the 2-guard spot.
In two previous meetings against the Heat this season, Butler averaged a pedestrian four points per game, while connecting on just 22 percent of his attempts from the field.
This time around, Butler made his presence felt, scoring 17 points, to go along with five assists and four rebounds.
Butler’s offensive output was not the only impressive aspect of the game.
He also did a good job guarding Dwyane Wade, holding the Heat’s star to just 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting.