Heat throttle Bulls to tie series
It was the biggest postseason win in Miami Heat history, and the biggest postseason loss in Chicago Bulls history.
And it might have been actually worse than that sounds.
Ray Allen scored 21 points in only 19 minutes, LeBron James finished with 19 points and nine assists, and the Heat led by as many as 46 points on the way to a 115-78 victory on Wednesday night in Game 2 of their series, now knotted at one game apiece.
Sure, the Heat have lost home-court advantage in these Eastern Conference semifinals. But an absolute domination of the Bulls made the reigning NBA champions look like the clear-cut team to beat in this title race once again.
“We’re still in the hole,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, whose team will need to win at least one game in Chicago if it’s going to prevail in this series.
Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson were ejected in the fourth quarter for Chicago, and the league will almost certainly review some of the things said and done in a game that was close for the first 20 minutes before turning into an embarrassment for the Bulls and an embarrassment of riches for the Heat. The Bulls were called for six player technicals, the most by any team in a playoff game since Boston had that many against Indiana in 2005.
“I don’t know how many techs we got. ... I would call that not keeping your cool, not being very Zen,” Noah said.
The Heat had three technicals assessed, a season-high for them.
Game 3 is Friday in Chicago.
Norris Cole scored 18 points for Miami, which got 15 from Dwyane Wade and 13 from Chris Bosh. The Heat led 42-38 with 3:42 left in the first half, before going on an absurd 62-20 run.
It was that one-sided. Miami shot 60 percent to Chicago’s 36, outrebounded the Bulls 41-28, and enjoyed a huge edges in points off turnovers (28-7) and fast-break points (20-2).
“We got sidetracked and you can’t do that,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. “We allowed frustration to carry over to the next play. ... You come in here, you’re not going to get calls. That’s reality.”
Marco Belinelli scored 13 for the Bulls, who got 12 from Noah and 11 from Nate Robinson.