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Heat 115, Bulls 78
For the first time in these playoffs, Miami was 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 history, and tons of fresh venom pulsing through the veins of this now-tied Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Miami won 115-78 Wednesday, 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 Chicago and get it back."
Game 3 is Friday 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.
"We're still in the hole," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
Technically, yes. In actuality, maybe not.
"Today, something was different," said Bulls guard Nate Robinson, who made 3 of his 10 shots. "Not just with our play, just today was just weird."
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.
Bulls forward Carlos Boozer, who scored only eight points, said he didn't fault his teammates for speaking their minds — although cameras suggested that Gibson's language was more than a little colorful.
"Things don't go your way, you're competitors, you want to go out there and do everything you can when you feel you're being cheated," Boozer said. "You're going to say something about it. But regardless we don't place the blame on anybody else, we put it on our shoulders and we'll play better."
The Heat had three technicals assessed, a season-high for them.
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 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.
"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 Robinson.
Warriors 100, Spurs 91
Klay Thompson scored 34 points, Stephen Curry added 22 and Golden State withstood another furious rally by San Antonio to even their Western Conference series 1-1.
Thompson, who scored 29 points in the first half, added 14 rebounds for Golden State, which snapped a 30-game losing streak in the Alamo City. The Warriors had not won in San Antonio since Feb. 14, 1997.
Harrison Barnes had 13 points, Carl Landry 10 and Andrew Bogut had six points and 11 rebounds.
Tim Duncan scored 23 points and Tony Parker added 20 for San Antonio. Manu Ginobili had 12 points and Kawhi Leonard had 11 points and 12 rebounds.
The Warriors host Game 3 on Friday night.
Karl named Coach of the Year
George Karl led the Denver Nuggets to a team-record 57 wins without a big name on his roster.
For that endeavor, Karl earned the NBA's Coach of the Year on Wednesday.
He received 62 first-place votes, followed by Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat with 24 votes from a panel of sports writers and broadcasters.
New York's Mike Woodson finished third and San Antonio's Gregg Popovich, who won the award last season, was fourth.
The Nuggets went 57-25 — the league's fourth-best record — and captured the No. 3 seed. But the Nuggets were eliminated by the Golden State Warriors 92-88 in Game 6 last Thursday night.
It's the first time Karl has won the award in 25 seasons in charge. He joined Doug Moe as the only Denver coaches to earn the honor.
Karl boasts a 1,131-756 record with the Nuggets, Milwaukee Bucks, Seattle SuperSonics, Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers. He's also turned in 21 straight non-losing seasons, which is tied with Phil Jackson for the longest streak in league history.