CHICAGO (AP) – Goran Dragic and the Miami Heat followed the lowest-scoring first quarter in team history with the highest-scoring one of the season to beat the Chicago Bulls.
After scoring seven points in the first quarter, Miami had 38 in the second to take a 45-42 lead en route to a 100-93 victory Sunday.
Dragic scored 24 points, Wayne Ellington had 19 points and five 3-pointers off the bench and the Heat’s four reserves outscored their five starters.
James Johnson added 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists, and fellow reserves Tyler Johnson and Kelly Olynyk scored 10 points apiece as the Heat bench produced 54 points to extend the team’s winning streak to three.
Jerian Grant led Chicago with a career-high 24 points. Denzel Valentine had 14 points and career highs of 13 rebounds and seven assists.
“They (the bench) inspired the whole team,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We were looking for some kind of energy, some kind of separation. We understand that it was going to be a 48-minute game and they played some inspiring basketball, not only in the fourth quarter but in that second quarter. That’s what really changed the momentum and brought us back into it.”
Ellington ignited the Heat after the 2-for-19 first-quarter from the field, scoring 10 points and hitting three 3-pointers as Miami shot 68.4 percent in the second quarter.
TIMBERWOLVES 119, SUNS 108
In Minneapolis, Karl-Anthony Towns had 32 points and 12 rebounds and Minnesota beat Phoenix, taking advantage of high-scoring Suns guard Devin Booker’s absence.
The Suns announced shortly before the game that Booker – who scored 35 points in Phoenix’s home victory over Minnesota on Nov. 11 – would sit out because of an injured big right toe.
Jimmy Butler had 25 points for Minnesota. Mike James had a career-high 26 points for Phoenix.
NETS 98, GRIZZLIES 88
In Memphis, DeMarre Carroll scored a season-high 24 points, Trevor Booker added 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Brooklyn beat Memphis to snap a three-game losing streak.
Joe Harris added 13 points for the Nets. Marc Gasol and Tyreke Evans scored 18 points apiece for Memphis.