NBA Game Summary - Chicago at Miami
(Tuesday, October 31st)
Final Score: Chicago 108, Miami 66
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Kirk Hinrich, with a fresh contract extension in his back pocket, poured in 26 points and his back-up Chris Duhon added 20, as the Chicago Bulls unveiled their new last line of defense Ben Wallace and ruined Miami's NBA championship celebration with a 108-66 pounding at American Airlines Arena.
Each member of the Miami Heat received a championship ring in a pre-game ceremony, but once the ball was tipped, the Bulls looked more like the defending NBA champions.
The season-opening loss was the worst for a defending NBA champion in league history.
The Bulls upgraded in the offseason in an attempt to reach such championship heights, adding Wallace, trading Tyson Chandler in a deal that netted P.J. Brown and drafting a pair of long, athletic swing men in Thabo Sefolosha and Tyrus Thomas.
That group was added to an already talented club that pushed Miami to six games in the playoffs last season. Hinrich was rewarded for leading that team on Tuesday, netting what the Chicago Tribune reported as a five-year contract extension.
Luol Deng added 12 points, while Wallace had five points, 11 rebounds and one block. Sefolosha debuted with 11 points while Thomas had four. All 12 Bulls scored in the rout. Thomas broke his nose during a collision in the second half, and will return to Chicago to get a mask specially made for him on Wednesday.
"I thought we played well," said Chicago head coach Scott Skiles. "I thought our defense was excellent. We had a lot of energy. We had guys making big plays."
Dwyane Wade led the Heat with 25 points, but was the only Miami player in double figures. Shaquille O'Neal had just seven points on 3-of-10 shooting, and Miami finished with a 38.5 field goal percentage.
"Obviously it was absolutely one-sided," said Miami head coach Pat Riley. "There really isn't much to say other than we do know, and there is a gauge put out there, on the work, we have to do. The lack of activity defensively against their activity, their energy, basically is what was the dominating factor."
The second quarter illustrated Chicago's ability to lock down defensively, allowing just 14 points on 4-of-14 shooting. Other than Wade, Miami was only 5-of-25 from the floor in the opening half.
The Bulls ended the half on a 21-5 scoring stretch to seize complete control and quiet what had been a celebratory, festive home crowd. The first seven points of the stretch were scored by Hinrich, who buried a pair of jumpers then used the outside threat to penetrate and convert while being fouled for an eventual three-point play.
Duhon bookended Hinrich's burst with the final eight points of the half. He followed Hinrich's script, burying back-to-back three-pointers before absorbing a foul near the basket and converting two free throws for a 59-30 lead at the break.
The big story was not only the solid play of Hinrich with 15 points and Deng with 12, but the job Wallace did on O'Neal. The new Bull held O'Neal to two points on 1-of-6 shooting.
The Bulls were never threatened in the second half.
Miami and Chicago built a house of bricks in the season's opening quarter. The Bulls made only 5-of-20 from the floor, yet lived on the foul line and held a 22-16 edge.
Miami committed nine personal fouls, and Chicago turned that into a 12-of-17 effort from the charity stripe. Wade was the only Miami player to get into the flow, scoring 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting.
There were only three ties and two lead changes in a game dominated by the Bulls...Chicago's Andres Nocioni and Wade each were whistled for technicals for arguing foul calls...Before the ring ceremony, a moment of silence honored Boston Celtics legend Red Auerbach...Nocioni had nine points and 11 rebounds...The Bulls held a massive 49-29 edge on the glass...The 66 points were the fewest points scored by the Heat in a season and home opener...The margin of defeat was the worst for Miami in a season opener.
11/01 01:36:31 ET