The Heat had plenty to say in the aftermath of Sunday's87-86 loss to the Bulls, their third this season.
After trailing by 10 points in the first half, the Bulls used a strong fourth quarter to build an 84-79 lead with 2:31 left. Miami tied it on a 3-pointer by Mario Chalmers, then took an 86-84 lead with 25.8 seconds remaining when Chalmers broke loose for a driving layin.
The Bulls went back ahead thanks to an unusual sequence. Luol Deng was fouled, hit the first of 2 free throws, then Joakim Noah tipped the miss back to Deng. As Deng started to drive to the basket, he was hit from behind by Mike Miller and another foul was called. Deng nailed both shots to put the Bulls up 87-86 with 15.9 seconds on the clock.
On Miami’s final possession, Noah switched onto LeBron James, but did a nice job of contesting James’ left-handed runner. Dwyane Wade chased down the rebound in the corner and threw up a quick shot that hit the front rim as time expired.
In the interview room, Miami coach Eric Spoelstra provided some revealing information.
“There are a couple guys crying in the locker room right now,” Spoelstra said. “This is painful for every single one of us going through this.”
A local reporter asked James, Wade and Chris Bosh who was crying, but they refused to share. Here are some thoughts from Miami’s power trio:
Wade: “This is what everyone wanted. The world’s better now because the Heat are losing.”
James: “I told my team I’m not going to continue to fail them late in games.”
Bosh: “They say games don’t come down to one play, but sometimes they do.”
Bosh was referring to the Bulls’ missed free throw and subsequent foul called against Deng.
More Bosh: “Sometimes you have to let the pain teach you something. … When the smoke clears, we’ll be stronger.”