MIAMI – For the first time in these playoffs, the Miami Heat were facing some real adversity.
They responded with a technical knockout.
After nine technical fouls, two ejections and a whole lot of extracurricular pushing and shoving, the end results were as follows: The biggest postseason win in Heat history, the biggest postseason loss in Chicago Bulls history, and tons of fresh venom pulsing through the veins of this now-tied Eastern Conference semifinal series. Miami won 115-78 at the AmericanAirlines Arena, a stunning outcome for a game that was basically back-and-forth for much of the first half.
That is, until the Heat started embarrassing the Bulls, and the Bulls started embarrassing themselves for good measure.
“No matter if you win by 20, 30, or one point, it’s a 1-1 series,” Heat star LeBron James said. “They came in and did their job. They got one on our floor and took home court. So, we’ve got to try to go to Chicago and get it back.”
Game 3 is tomorrow in Chicago, where the Heat will have to win at least one game if they’re going to win the series.
Ray Allen scored 21 points in only 19 minutes, James finished with 19 points and nine assists, and the Heat led by as many as 46 points. Sure, the Heat have lost home-court advantage when they dropped Game 1. But this domination made the reigning NBA champions look like the clear-cut team to beat in this title race once again.
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. 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.
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, out-rebounded the Bulls 41-28, and enjoyed huge edges in points off turnovers (28-7) and fast-break points (20-2).
The only stat that Chicago dominated: Technicals, where the Bulls outpaced Miami, 6-3.
Marco Belinelli scored 13 for the Bulls, who got 12 from Noah and 11 from Robinson.
And at the AT&T Centre in San Antonio, Texas, the young Golden State Warriors took a big step in their development, withstanding another furious rally by the San Antonio Spurs for a 100-91 victory to even their series at one game apiece and snap a 30-game skid in the Alamo City.Klay Thompson had a career-high 34 points and 14 rebounds, and Stephen Curry added 22 points for Golden State, which had not won in San Antonio since Feb. 14, 1997.
Tim Duncan scored 23 points and Tony Parker added 20 for San Antonio, which had won five straight in the postseason. Manu Ginobili had 12 points, and Kawhi Leonard had 11 points and 12 rebounds.†