"In the first quarter I felt pretty good," he said. "As the game went on, I felt like I was playing on one leg. It was tough. It was hard. But it was kind of like a playoff atmosphere. You try to will yourself through the game. I'm just disappointed we didn't get the win."
Hamilton sat out the Bulls' 107-100 win on Friday night; he has missed 11 games in January.
In an eagerly-anticipated matchup between the top two teams in the Eastern Conference, the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat played a thrilling game that came down to the final seconds. Unfortunately, for the Bulls, the late breaks went the other way, as the Heat held off Derrick Rose and his teammates for the 97-93 win.
Rose was simply brilliant in the loss, netting 34 points, grabbing six boards and dishing out six assists. However, Rose missed two free-throws late in the fourth quarter that could have given Chicago the lead and also missed a floater in the lane with just seconds remaining that would have sent the game to overtime. Joakim Noah did an excellent job controlling the paint, as he scored 11 points and grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds.
The Heat were led by LeBron James, who scored a game-high 35 points and pulled down 11 rebounds. Despite th gaudy numbers, James once again struggled down the stretch, as he missed two free-throws that could have given the Heat a three-point lead in the final seconds. Chris Bosh continued his excellent production, scoring 24 points and snatching a team-high 12 rebounds in the victory.
The Chicago Bulls are trailing 56-51 against the Miami Heat going into halftime on Sunday afternoon in a battle of NBA elites. This is the first time that the two teams have played since the Heat knocked off the Bulls in last year's Eastern Conference Finals, and they're both still among the league's best teams.
Miami led by as many as 12 points in the second quarter, but Chicago has consistently matched Miami's runs to keep things reasonably close. The Heat busted out to a 18-7 lead in the first few minutes of the game, but the Bulls responded by trimming the lead to just two points after one quarter.
The Heat then expanded the lead back to 12 points midway through the second quarter, but the Bulls just refuse to let them blow things out. Miami shot 47 percent in the first half while Chicago shot 44 percent.
Chicago's backcourt has led the way so far, as Derrick Rose has 13 points and three assists while Richard Hamilton has added 11 points. Joakim Noah has also played well, putting up nine points, five rebounds and four assists. The Heat have been led by LeBron James, who has 17 points, and Chris Bosh, who has 14 points and six rebounds.
The Chicago Bulls may not have Luol Deng or C.J. Watson as they play the Miami Heat on Sunday afternoon, but they will have shooting guard Richard Hamilton. The 33-year-old was a game-time decision for the game as he continues to deal with a groin injury that's kept him out of multiple games this season.
Hamilton missed the Bulls' previous game against the Milwaukee Bucks, with Kyle Korver starting at shooting guard in his place. Korver is back on the bench for Sunday's game against Miami, though, as Hamilton tries to battle through the injury for such an important game.
The former Piston has appeared in ten games for Chicago so far this season, averaging 14.5 points, 3.8 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game.
The Chicago Bulls will be without a pair of key players as they suit up to play the Miami Heat on Sunday, as Ethan J. Skolnick of the Palm Beach Post reports that small forward Luol Deng and point guard C.J. Watson are out. He adds that Richard Hamilton will be a game-time decision as he tests himself during warmups.
The hope was that Deng would be able to return in time to play against Miami after missing the past few games, but the Bulls will once again be starting Ronnie Brewer at small forward in his place. He's still dealing with the wrist injury that's kept him out recently, although Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau has said that he could still return for Monday's game against the Washington Wizards.
Watson's absence is relatively unexpected, as the guard played well against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday. Like Deng, he's dealing with a wrist injury. He likely won't be out for long.