Heat bumbles upset bid in Chicago


X-factor: Grumpy old men gag Hardaway

Rest translates into rust for Bulls

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Michael Jordan schools Voshon Lenard.
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Jordan flies by four defenders and seals Miami's fate.
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Alonzo Mourning turns Toni Kukoc away twice.
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P.J. Brown hustles back to swat Scottie Pippen.
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Jordan responds to the claims that the Bulls are too old. (Courtesy: NBA/TNT Sports)
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Phil Jackson was pleased with the Bulls' defensive adjustments. (Courtesy: NBA/TNT Sports)
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Pat Riley's team sent a wake-up call to Chicago. (Courtesy: NBA/TNT Sports)
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Zo Mourning is planning to kick himself. (Courtesy: NBA/TNT Sports)
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Tim Hardaway: The Heat let it slip away. (Courtesy: NBA/TNT Sports)
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Box score | Game recap | Game flow

CHICAGO -- The Miami Heat scored only 28 points in the second half and missed nine free throws in the fourth quarter Tuesday as the Chicago Bulls rallied for an 84-77 victory in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Nothing is free: Miami was just 15 for 30 from the foul line, including four for 13 in the fourth quarter. Alonzo Mourning was seven for 15 overall, one for six in the final period.

Education of boards: Dennis Rodman's 19 boards paced Chicago to a 65-51 rebounding advantage. Rodman had seven of the Bulls' 20 offensive boards; Miami's entire team had five.

No need to panic: The Bulls kept their cool after falling behind. "We're a very poised team," Scottie Pippen said. "We don't try to push anything. We don't try to get that lead back at one time."

Michael Jordan had 37 points and nine rebounds for Chicago, Scottie Pippen scored 24 points and Dennis Rodman grabbed 19 rebounds. Game 2 is Thursday night.

Miami raced to an 11-point halftime lead, but Chicago cut the margin to five points by the end of the third quarter.

"In the first half we played like old men. In the second half, we played a little younger," said Jordan, who combined with Pippen to outscore Miami 30-28 in the second half.

The Heat fell apart in the fourth quarter, scoring 11 points, going three for 12 from the field and four for 13 from the foul line.

"They obviously showed their greatness at the end of the game with their defensive pressure," Heat coach Pat Riley said of the Bulls. "We succumbed to that.

"The turnovers and missed free throws were the key to us losing this game," Riley said. "It's a shame, because we led that game for 45 minutes and let it get away from us. We have to bounce back."

Miami center Alonzo Mourning made only one of six free throws in the fourth quarter and seven for 15 overall. He is shooting a miserable 50 percent (60 for 119) from the foul line in the playoffs.

No wonder Miami missed so many shots in the fourth quarter. The Heat abandoned the inside game and stayed behind the 3-point line, missing seven of eight.

"I don't know what's wrong with me, but I'm certainly in a funk," Mourning said. "It's a mental thing right now, as far as my free throws go."

The Heat's second-half scoring matched the second-worst in playoff history. The record of 27 points is shared by the 1982 Philadelphia 76ers and the 1995 Indiana Pacers. The San Antonio Spurs had just 28 points against Portland on May 7, 1993.

"We're gonna look back at this game and kick ourself. I know I will," Mourning said. "But the first thing Pat told us in the locker room was to forget about it and move on to Thursday. That's what we're gonna do."

Mourning led Miami with 21 points and eight rebounds. Tim Hardaway had 13 points and nine assists.

The Bulls trailed 72-67 before Rodman's tip-in with 6:03 left. Hardaway made a free throw, but Pippen and Ron Harper sank 3-pointers to give Chicago the lead for good at 75-73 with 3:26 remaining.

Harper then made a steal and fed Jordan for a dunk five seconds later.

Voshon Lenard missed a technical foul shot and Mourning split a pair of free throws, cutting the deficit to three points. The Heat got the ball back, but Toni Kukoc made a steal and went all the way for a layup and a 79-74 lead with 1:36 left.

The Bulls missed several shots from point-blank range in the first quarter, thanks in large part to Alonzo Mourning, who had five blocks in the opening period.

Mourning missed two more free throws and Jordan went in for a floater to seal it with 1:04 to go.

"The way we were able to grab this game back was defensive pressure," Jordan said. "We double-teamed their shooters at the perimeter and Dennis did a good job under the boards pressuring their big men."

Tuesday was Chicago's first game since eliminating the Atlanta Hawks one week ago, and the Bulls quickly fell behind. Chicago shot 25 percent (seven for 28) in the first quarter; the Heat shot 45.5 percent (10 for 22) and took a 25-17 lead.

"The week off certainly showed in the first half," Pippen said.

Mourning blocked five shots in the first quarter and Lenard made all four of his 3-pointers in the opening period.

The Heat widened the lead to 41-26 on Isaac Austin's basket with 5:01 to go in the second quarter, but the Bulls closed to 49-38 at halftime.

"We were definitely lethargic -- I guess you could call it rusty -- in the first half," Jordan said. "We had no rhythm."

Michael Jordan air mails two points for Chicago.

Chicago got back into it in the third quarter. Harper's 3-pointer triggered a 12-4 burst that Jordan capped with a turnaround jumper, closing the deficit to 54-50 with 7:08 left in the period.

Two minutes later, the Bulls rattled off nine unanswered points to take the lead for the first time, 59-58 with 3:51 to go.

Miami responded, as Hardaway had a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer during an 8-1 spurt that closed the period.

During the stretch, Rodman shoved Mourning in the back and was called for a technical foul. Rodman has 12 technicals in the playoffs, including at least one in every game.

Jordan was whistled for a technical for arguing with an official late in the fourth quarter. Lenard missed the technical free throw.

"I'm not at liberty to discuss the refereeing because I don't want a fine, but it certainly wasn't great tonight," Jordan said. "There were a lot of questionable calls.

"You just have to play through it. We got three technicals. We lost our cool to some degree."

Chicago shot just 36 percent (32 for 89) from the field but held a 65-51 rebounding edge.

Miami shot 41 percent (26 for 64) and made just 15 of 30 free throws.

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