Thursday May 9, 2013

MIAMI -- So much for that notion of the Miami Heat being in trouble.

Sure, they’ve lost home-court advantage in these Eastern Conference semifinals. But an absolute domination of the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night made the reigning NBA champions look like the clear-cut team to beat in this title race once again.

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.

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.

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.

Yes, 62-20.

It was that one-sided. Miami shot 60 percent to Chicago’s 36, outrebounded the Bulls 41-28, and enjoyed a huge 28-7 edge in points off turnovers.


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For much of the first half, it was everything one would expect from a Bulls-Heat game, especially after Chicago took Game 1 on Monday night. It was physical -- Udonis Haslem sent Nate Robinson flying on the game’s first possession, and Marco Belinelli hammered Wade on the ensuing Miami trip, one that ended with Wade getting the first of the game’s nine technical fouls for throwing the ball into the Bulls’ guard.

Robinson made a 3-pointer to get Chicago within 49-41, then turned and said some words toward Cole. So Cole quickly had an answer, hitting one corner 3-pointer over Robinson and letting him know about it, then making another 30 seconds later to give Miami what was then its biggest lead of the night.