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"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."
Really, they couldn’t play much worse. The numbers were beyond dreadful.
The Bulls shot just under 36 percent, while Miami connected on 60 percent of its shots. Chicago was outrebounded 41-28, a big shift from Game 1, when the Bulls were dominant on the glass. And other stats were unfathomably bad: The Bulls were outscored by huge margins in bench points (55-25), fast-break points (20-2) and points off turnovers (28-7).
Still, the Bulls got a split in Miami. Home-court advantage in this series is theirs, and that surely will help them turn the page quickly from Wednesday’s debacle.
"We didn’t play well, but it’s not the end of the world," Noah said. "It’s 1-1, and it’s going to be a big game in Chicago."
Norris Cole scored 18 points for Miami, which got 15 from Wade and 13 from Chris Bosh. Belinelli scored 13 for the Bulls, who got 12 from Noah and 11 from Robinson.
By the time the game was 15½ minutes old, there were five technicals called, though nothing really escalated to the point of being out of hand — it was more mouth-running than anything else. And with 3:42 left in the half, Chicago’s Jimmy Butler converted a sensational, acrobatic layup while being fouled, adding the free throw to cap a three-point play that cut Miami’s lead to 42-38.
Game 1 was a grind-it-out affair that Chicago dominated late on its way to victory. At that point, Game 2 was looking like it would go to the wire as well.
Not even close.
Butler’s highlight-reel play was officially the last highlight for the Bulls all night. Over the next 19 minutes — barely more than a quarter and a half — the Heat would outscore the Bulls 62-20.
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