Rapid Reaction: Heat 115, Bulls 78
May, 8, 2013
By Nick Friedell | ESPNChicago.com
MIAMI -- Here's a quick look at how the Miami Heat cruised to an easy 115-78 win over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena in Game 2 of an Eastern Conference semifinal. The series is tied 1-1.
How it happened: LeBron James was much more aggressive early in this game and it showed. The reigning MVP finished with 19 points, five rebounds and nine assists. Ray Allen added 21 points while Dwyane Wade chipped in with 15 points and five assists. Marco Belinelli led the Bulls with 13 points and six assists.
What it means: The Heat beat the Bulls at their own game. They were the more aggressive team from start to finish and they forced the Bulls to play at their pace all night. James set an early tone that the rest of his teammates followed and it was clear the Heat were ready for an even more physical game than in Game 1. The Bulls got dominated in the paint and were unable to fight back down the stretch as they did on Monday. They couldn't find a rhythm on the offensive end and got beat down the floor way too many times in the final three quarters. The good news for the Bulls is that they got what they wanted in Miami -- a split. As poorly as they played in this game, that frustration will be tempered by the fact that they head into Game 3 tied 1-1. The only benefit of the blowout is that guys like Jimmy Butler and Nate Robinson, both of whom have played a huge amount of minutes recently, didn't see the floor in the fourth quarter. The bad news is that Taj Gibson could be facing a suspension for arguing with official Scott Foster after being tossed in the fourth quarter. He and Noah were both tossed late in this one but Gibson was very animated with his displeasure. It will be interesting to see how the league handles the situation, especially given that there were nine technicals, one flagrant foul and two ejections.
Hits: Not much to write home about for the Bulls in this one -- although Noah did have 12 points and six rebounds before getting tossed.
Misses: The Bulls shot just 35.5 percent from the field.
Stat(s) of the night: Points in the paint: Heat led 56-18. Fast break points: Heat led 20-2
What's next: Game 3 is at 7 p.m. CT Friday in Chicago.