Bulls Heat Basketball

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) greets friends courtside at the end of an NBA basketball play-in tournament game against the Chicago Bulls, Friday, April 14, 2023, in Miami. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

MIAMI (AP) — Max Strus and Jimmy Butler scored 31 points apiece, and the Miami Heat got into the playoffs by rallying in the final minutes to beat the Chicago Bulls 102-91 in an Eastern Conference play-in game Friday night.

Tyler Herro added 12 points and Bam Adebayo grabbed 17 rebounds for Miami, which trailed by six midway through the final quarter.

But Butler scored while getting fouled with 2:17 left to put Miami ahead for good, found Strus for a 3-pointer — his seventh of the night — a minute later to push the lead to five, and Strus sealed it with three free throws after getting fouled on a try from beyond the arc with 40 seconds remaining.

The win gives Miami the No. 8 seed in the East, and a first-round matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks, the NBA's top overall seed, starting Sunday.

DeMar DeRozan led the Bulls with 26 points and nine assists. Alex Caruso added 16 points, Zach Lavine had 15 but shot just 6 for 20, and Coby White scored 14 for the Bulls. Chicago got a road win at Toronto on Wednesday to extend its season, but couldn't get the second road victory it needed to make the playoffs.


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Karl-Anthony Towns had 28 points and 11 rebounds to lead Minnesota into the playoffs, as the Timberwolves muscled and hustled their way past Oklahoma City to finish the play-in tournament.

Rudy Gobert had 21 points and 10 rebounds in his return from exile for swinging at teammate Kyle Anderson, and the Wolves filled out the NBA playoff bracket by seizing the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference with a near-perfect performance at the end of another harder-than-it-had-to-be season.

Anthony Edwards had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Wolves, who had a 58-30 advantage in points in the paint. They will face No. 1 seed Denver in a best-of-seven series starting on Sunday night.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder with 22 points, going 12 for 12 from the free throw line but just 5 for 19 from the field. Jalen Williams and Lu Dort each scored 17 points.

Featured Podcast

See all