National Basketball Association
<    August    >
S M T W T F S
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

 
     === Heat get right back to work, take down Bulls in season opener ===
 
 Miami,  FL  (SportsNetwork.com) - The  Miami Heat took  in one last  chance to
 relish their 2012-13 championship season. Then it was back to business.
 
 The  two-time  defending NBA title-holders sent  a clear message to one of the
 expected  top challengers  to their  crown,  using a  torrid shooting  display
 and  a dominant second  quarter to deal the Chicago Bulls a 107-95 loss in the
 season  opener for  both Eastern  Conference contenders  at American  Airlines
 Arena.
 
 Seven Miami players finished with double-figure points in a balanced offensive
 effort,  and the Heat outscored the Bulls by a 37-18 margin during the pivotal
 second  quarter to  put their opponent at a substantial deficit it could never
 quite overcome.
 
 Reigning  league MVP  LeBron James paced Miami's spread-the-wealth attack with
 17  points to  go along with eight  assists and six rebounds, while Chris Bosh
 netted  16  points and  Shane  Battier  went  4-for-4  from 3-point  range  to
 contribute  14 points  off the  bench. As  a team,  the Heat  hit on  11-of-20
 attempts from beyond the arc and shot 51.4 percent overall.
 
 "We're a complete basketball team. There is no pressure for us to go out and
 perform. We move the ball offensively and have a lot of guys that can make
 plays. That is what we're about, guys picking each other up," said James.
 
 Despite  a  31-point outburst from  Carlos Boozer,  the return of Derrick Rose
 still  produced an  undesired outcome  for the  Bulls. The  star point  guard,
 playing  in  his first meaningful  game since tearing  his left ACL during the
 2012  Eastern  Conference playoffs, went just  4-for-15 from the field and had
 five turnovers while accumulating 12 points.
 
 "I am disappointed with the loss. My performance, I can easily change that by
 making shots and limiting my turnovers. The second quarter really caught up to
 us," Rose said.
 
 Luol  Deng managed only  four points in the loss while being saddled with foul
 trouble for much of the first half. Jimmy Butler scored 20 points for Chicago.
 
 Following  a lavish  pregame ceremony  and  the unveiling  of the  franchise's
 latest  championship  banner, the  Heat started off  slowly. Miami misfired on
 nine  of  its first  10 shot  attempts in falling  behind by  a 9-2 score four
 minutes  in,  but caught  fire during  a second-quarter  barrage that turned a
 close contest into a budding rout.
 
 Miami  knocked down four 3-pointers during a 13-0 run that staked the reigning
 champs  to  a 23-18  lead with  a minute elapsed  in the  period, and the Heat
 ripped  off 17  consecutive points  later  in the  frame  to open  up a  41-20
 advantage with under 4 1/2 minutes to go in the half.
 
 The  Heat  cruised into the  break owning a  commanding 54-33 cushion behind a
 63.2  percent  shooting clip for the  second quarter, which included a 5-for-5
 success rate from beyond the arc.
 
 Chicago, on the other hand, went an off-target 6-for-20 from the field for the
 frame while turning the ball over six times.
 
 The  Heat continued to lead comfortably entering the game's final six minutes,
 though  Chicago put forth a late charge to at least make it interesting. A 7-0
 spurt  capped  by a Kirk  Hinrich trey pulled the  Bulls within 91-79, and the
 differential  was later whittled down to eight after Boozer drove the lane and
 scored to make it a 95-87 game with 2:46 remaining.
 
 Battier  sank a  clutch triple with 1:33  left to give the Heat some breathing
 room  at 100-89, however,  and both James and Bosh came through with big shots
 late to help keep the Bulls at bay.
 
                                   Game Notes
 
 The Heat were routed by a 108-66 score by the Bulls in their 2006-07 opener at
 home, which followed the franchise's first NBA championship campaign ... Miami
 posted  a 120-107 win over visiting Boston in last year's lid-lifter ... Bulls
 center Joakim Noah, bothered a sore groin coming in, had just two points in 20
 minutes  but pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds ... Ray Allen and Norris Cole
 each  had 11 points  off the bench for Miami, with Allen going 3-for-6 from 3-
 point range ...Chicago had gone 8-0 during the preseason.
 
 
 10/30 01:20:46 ET

Powered by The Sports Network.