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Heat react to huge play-in tournament win over Bulls

Miami is moving on, and Chicago is done.



© Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat are going back to the playoffs and they will once again matchup with the Boston Celtics. The Heat punched their ticket on Friday with an easy 112-91 win over the Chicago Bulls, and Miami didn’t have Jimmy Butler. The Heat were narrow favorites without their star, but their defense was smothering all night long, and they ended up cruising to victory.

“I have an appreciation for the things you can’t buy, the things that you have to earn,” Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said after the game, according to an article from ESPN. “We had to earn this. You can’t influence it. You can’t pay money for it. You actually have to collectively come together to earn it — and we had to do it the hard way, just to get this first ticket punched for the invitation to this dance.”

The road in the playoffs is not going to be easy for the Heat, however. The Celtics have been the best team in the league all year long, and Miami knows that they need to set the tone early, or they’ll quickly fall behind.

“Ultimately, we’ve just got to bring that Miami Heat culture and that toughness,” Jaime Jaquez Jr. said. “We’ve got two games in Boston. We’ve got to set the tone extremely early, impose our will on them and make it real physical.”

At the end of the day, the Heat are just feeling good to be back in the playoffs.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to be in the playoffs,” Spoelstra said. “I’m grateful for this locker room to have this opportunity. And I think they’re appreciative of it, as well.”

The Heat and Celtics will get their series started on Sunday.

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The Dunk Central staff has over 25 years of collective experience writing and covering the NBA. Featured in Bleacher Report, Yahoo, and Yardbarker, our writers offer expert analysis and captivating storytelling.