Bulls reminded of challenge they face

MIAMI -- It was the most predictable blowout of the season, Miami's Game 2 rout of the Chicago Bulls, a humiliating whuppin' that not only evened the series but also restored order to the playoff basketball universe, at least temporarily.

What looked like Ali-Frazier 48 hours earlier looked like Ali-Chuck Wepner Wednesday night. A battle it wasn't. By the time the fourth quarter began, Game 2 had spiraled into the equivalent of the victor burying the loser alive and then dancing on his gravesite.

Two of the most impressive wins in Bulls' playoff history were followed by an epic, technical-foul filled face slap, the worst playoff loss in the club's history, a vengeful Miami beatdown that started just before halftime and lasted well into the fourth quarter.

Miami will look at it as a statement game that clearly puts the champs back in control of the series as it moves to Chicago. The Bulls will have no choice but to believe that even this trashing, which at one point reached 104-58, counts as only one loss. If somebody told them they could lose one game by fiddy but still return to Chicago with the series tied, they'd take it in a heartbeat.

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