The Rundown: Heat edge Bulls, Morant explodes for 52

Published March 1, 2022, 1:30 PMMiguel Flores

The Heat defeated the Bulls in a battle of top teams in the East, while Ja Morant went off for a career-high 52 points out West.



Timberwolves 127, Cavaliers 122

Magic 119, Pacers 103

Raptors 133, Nets 97

Heat 112, Bulls 99

Grizzlies 118, Spurs 105

Bucks 130, Hornets 106

Kings 131, Thunder 110

What went down

As we sprint towards the end of the season, the Eastern Conference is braced to have one of the most frantic finishes in recent history.

Today, the top two teams in the East met. Both red hot, the Miami Heat (41-21) edged out the Chicago Bulls (39-23), flashing their depth in front of their home crowd.

The Heat got 20 points from sharpshooter Gabe Vincent and the resurgent Tyler Herro. Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, meanwhile, added 15 points apiece as they stifled Chicago’s main guns. The win extended the Heat’s lead over the Bulls in the top of the standings to two games.

Zach LaVine led Chicago with 22 points while rookie Ayo Dosunmu and MVP candidate DeMar DeRozan each managed 18. The Bulls are still waiting on a timetable for the return of their two point guards in Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso.

The Milwaukee Bucks (37-25) and Cleveland Cavaliers (36-25) swapped places in the standings today. The Bucks walloped the Charlotte Hornets while Cleveland lost a tight home game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

This was a welcome win for the defending champs, who had split their previous 24 games. The Bucks had struggled to close out tight games so a blowout against a team in the play-in picture was a welcome development.

The young Cavaliers, on the other hand, have had similar problems with the Bucks in finding ways to put away teams late. But Cleveland has one of the easiest remaining schedules left in the league, according to NBA.com’s John Schumann, so they should be primed for another late run.

Only slim margins separate the top six teams in the East. Anyone from the teams that played today plus the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers could realistically end up at the top by the regular season’s end.

Big-time baller

Ja Morant isn’t done torching teams and setting career-highs.

Days after dropping 46 points, Morant went off for 52 points against the San Antonio Spurs. It wasn’t your normal 50-piece, either. Ja made sure to get some bodies on his way there.

What he said

Mitchell Robinson somehow found a thread of Knicks fans talking about his role in the team and had to chime in.

Did you see that?

Ja Morant highlights should be all over your feeds. This gem from Anthony Edwards, however, also deserves some love.

Markelle Fultz also returned to action today after missing more than a year due to an ACL tear. He immediately got to work, finishing with 10 points and six assists.