Bulls vs. Heat recap: Miami starts quest for three-peat with 107-95 win

Mike Ehrmann

The Bulls gave an admirable effort late in the game to make things interesting after being down big in the second half, but Miami finished strong and started off its quest for a three-peat with a home win.

The Chicago Bulls came close to pulling off a miraculous comeback in Tuesday night's NBA opener but fell just short as the Miami Heat prevailed, 107-95.

Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat team-specific coverage: Blog a Bull Hot Hot Hoops

The Bulls struggled offensively, but didn't go quietly; they used a late run in the fourth quarter to pull within single-digits inside the three-minute mark after being down by as many as 25. The Heat responded by tightening up on the defensive end and putting the Bulls away for good.

LeBron James led the way with 17 points, eight assists and six rebounds for the Heat. Dwyane Wade added 13 points and four rebounds and Chris Bosh had 16 points and six rebounds. The Heat displayed a complete team effort with stellar ball movement throughout the game that created numerous open looks as they totaled 26 assists.

They gave the Bulls fits on the defensive end and forced the Bulls to commit 18 turnovers, but also committed 18 of their own.

Carlos Boozer led all scorers 31 points, while Jimmy Butler added 20.

Derrick Rose struggled in his first game in over a year with 12 points on just 4-of-15 shooting and a dismal 1-of-7 effort from the three-point line. Chicago finished shooting 42.2 percent while Miami made 51.4 percent of its looks.

Both teams struggled in the first quarter on offense and shot 30 percent. The Heat used a 37-18 second quarter, which was aided by a 31-5 run spanning the first and second quarters, to pull away and take a commanding 54-33 lead at the half. In the first two quarters, Miami shot 45.2 percent from the field and caught fire from beyond the arc, making 58.3 percent of its looks from the three-point line. On the other end of the floor, they held the Bulls to just 30 percent from the field and 18.2 percent from deep.

What stood out most throughout the game was the trust the defending champs showed in one another. The Heat's stars were able to take on a complementary role and showed patience within the framework of the offense. It paid off by allowing each role player to add to the scoring effort. Seven players in all scored in double figures, including all five starters.

There was concern for Miami that its pregame ring ceremony could serve as a distraction, but the Heat came out with intensity and didn't get caught up in the moment. They'll need to keep that approach throughout the season as they chase their third consecutive title.

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