Revenge was served both hot and cold on Wednesday night in the 2013 NBA Playoffs. LeBron James did not score a single point in the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bulls, but nobody was worried about "clutch" narratives in Game 2 because the Heat dismantled the Bulls in historic fashion. Meanwhile, Klay Thompson missed 13 of his 26 shot attempts, but he drilled eight of nine three-pointers as the Warriors knocked off the Spurs in San Antonio for the first time in more than 15 years.
Heat 115, Bulls 78
The Chicago Bulls never stood a chance in Miami on Wednesday night. Even the fans were jacked up for Game 2. LeBron James (19 points, 7-12 shooting, nine assists) and the Heat blitzed the Bulls early, built a 46-point lead by the fourth quarter and waltzed away with the largest playoff margin of victory for the franchise. It was a truly historic performance by Miami that caused the Bulls to come apart at the seams.
Dwyane Wade (15 points, 7-11 shooting) picked up a technical foul 21 seconds into the game, and eight more technicals would be called throughout the evening in a physical affair. Hard fouls, heavy hits and flailing arms around the head and neck areas permeated the action as the Bulls collected six technicals and the Heat added three more. Miami attacked throughout the night and created an overwhelming 56-18 advantage on points in the paint. Ray Allen (21 points) and Norris (18 points) spread the floor effectively to take advantage of skip passes and perimeter ball movements, and the Bulls were powerless to stop the Heat.
Chicago also struggled on the offensive end, and by the time Miami pushed a 31-point lead to 40-plus in the fourth quarter, Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah both lost their cool and got ejected from the contest. Blog a Bull has more on the physicality of the game.
Warriors 100, Spurs 91
The Warriors finally did it. After 30 consecutive home wins for the Spurs in the head-to-head series, and none more heart-breaking for the Warriors than Monday's Game 1, Golden State evened the playoff series and snapped a road losing streak in San Antonio that dated back to Feb. 14, 1997. Stephen Curry struggled through an off night (22 points, 7-20 shooting, four assists), but his backcourt mate stepped up to help the Warriors escape the infamy of the streak and the Game 1 loss.
Klay Thompson exploded for a career-high 34 points (thanks to 8-9 shooting on threes) and snatched a career-high 14 rebounds to lead the Warriors to victory. Whenever Golden State needed a big shot, Thompson stepped up and graced the nets with his silky stroke. When the Spurs mounted a 14-2 run in the third quarter and put the Warriors on edge, it was Thompson who delivered with a big three to stretch the lead back to a comfortable margin.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has appreciated the thoughtfulness of Curry and Thompson so far this series (via the San Francisco Chronicle):
"I thought it was polite of them to at least take turns and not both be on fire on the same night," San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich said. "Maybe the next iteration is that neither one of them will be hot in Game 3. That's what I'm hoping, but Klay was unbelievable. ... He knocked them down, and that's what the playoffs are about."
Tim Duncan paced the Spurs with 23 points and nine rebounds, while Tony Parker added 20 points, six rebounds, and three assists in the losing effort. San Antonio only turned the ball over 10 times all night, but 5-21 shooting from deep dragged down their offense. Golden State limited themselves to nine turnovers and stroked 11-23 shots from three-point range.
At Golden State of Mind, they are a bit worried about a turnaround in long-distance shooting for the Spurs in Game 3:
The Warriors appeared to outplay the Spurs through the entire game, sans the one stretch in the third quarter, but in actuality, the Spurs missed a ton of wide-open shots, shooting 5-21 from distance. These weren't contested threes either, when do the Spurs do that? Green, Leonard and Ginobili combined to shoot 3-15, and most of them were open, with scrambling closeouts by Thompson and Curry not making much of a difference. Don't look for the Spurs to shoot the same way in Game 3.
That game is set for Friday night at ORACLE Arena, and there should be a spectacular atmosphere in Oakland and the Bay Area. This has turned into a must-watch series at the top of the totem pole in the 2013 NBA Playoffs.