Heat recover to hand Bulls worst ever play-off defeat
Ray Allen scores 21 from the bench in physical game to help Miami even series; Warriors beat Spurs as Klay Thompson sinks eight three-pointers
Ray Allen scored 21 points as Miami rebounded from a game-one loss to rout Chicago 115-78, handing the Bulls their most lopsided play-off defeat in franchise history.
LeBron James finished with 19 points and nine assists and Dwyane Wade and Norris Cole each scored 15 points in the gritty NBA contest that saw Bulls Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson ejected in the second half.
"Our guys came in with a stronger disposition," said coach Erik Spoelstra after the Heat tied the second-round series at 1-1. "What we talked about was competing at highest level with composure. Our guys are ultra competitive."
Allen came off the bench to score his 21 points in just 19 minutes of playing time for the Heat, who had six players score in double figures and shot an impressive 60 per cent from the field at American Airlines Arena.
Miami bounced back in a big way from a 93-86 game-one loss where they shot just 39 per cent from the field.
The injury-plagued Bulls lost their composure at times as they compiled a total of 27 fouls, including a half dozen technicals. Gibson and Noah were ejected early in the fourth quarter.
"They were more aggressive, more determined," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "We were back on our heels. We got sidetracked and we can't do that.
"We allowed frustration to carry over to the next play. We can't get wrapped up in that stuff."
The Heat dominated at both ends of the court, forcing the Bulls to turn the ball over 19 times. Marco Belinelli paced Chicago with 13 points and six assists and Noah scored 12 points before being ejected.
Game three of this best-of-seven Eastern Conference series is tomorrow morning (Hong Kong time) in Chicago. The game in front of a crowd of 19,817 included 51 personal fouls, seven technicals and the two ejections.
"Chicago is going to be physical and we are not going to shy away from it," James said.
The Heat returned to their dominating ways against the Bulls team that had snapped Miami's 27-game win streak earlier in the season.
Heat haven't been immune from trailing in a play-off series before. Miami fell behind in three different series last year en route to their second NBA championship.
Chicago stole the game one victory with a 10-0 run to close the contest.
"We did a poor job of finishing the other night," Spoelstra said. "In this game, there was more of a concentration.
"We were able to win tonight and we held our own in the rebound battle. We had much better ball movement and a trust level that different guys could make plays."
In San Antonio, Klay Thompson drained eight-of-nine from beyond the arc and Stephen Curry scored 22 points as the Golden State Warriors beat the Spurs 100-91 in game two of their second round play-off series.
Thompson, who finished just one three pointer shy of the NBA play-off record, had 34 points and 14 rebounds for the Warriors at AT&T Centre arena in San Antonio, Texas.
Golden State held on for the victory to even the series 1-1 after the Spurs cut into their 20-point third quarter lead by storming back in the fourth.
Game three is scheduled for tomorrow morning at Oracle Arena in California, where Golden State won both meetings during the regular season.