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MIAMI — LeBron James outscored Philadelphia’s entire starting five in the first half by himself.
So did Chris Bosh.
So did Dwyane Wade.
And that pretty much tells the tale of a night the 76ers would rather forget.
No comeback required for the Miami Heat this time — they went wire-to-wire on the lead, and moved two wins from advancing to the Eastern Conference semifinals.
James scored 29 points, Bosh had his second straight double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Miami took a 2-0 series lead with a 94-73 victory Monday night over the abysmally shooting 76ers.
Showing no signs of the migraine that he battled Sunday, Wade scored 14 points for Miami (17-3 in its last 20 games).
“Our energy tonight was much better,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said, “from beginning to end.”
Thaddeus Young scored 18 points and Evan Turner added 15 for the 76ers, whose starters were outscored 76-29 by the Heat’s first-string. Philadelphia shot 34 percent for the game, and after getting 42 points in the paint in Game 1, were held to 24 in that department last night.
The 76ers find themselves needing to buck some serious history. Miami has never lost a series after winning the first two games (6-0), and the Philadelphia franchise is winless in 16 tries after falling into an 0-2 postseason hole. And then there’s this — only 14 teams have won after losing the first two games of a best-of-seven NBA series.
Wade played 34 minutes, despite spending Sunday bedridden.”He controlled the game,” James said of Wade. “He had two people on him so he just got off the ball and let other guys make things happen and it’s good to have him on the court than in a suit.”
Philadelphia shot only 26 percent in the first half, a record for a Heat playoff opponent. The 76ers’ starters were outscored 41-9 in the opening 24 minutes, and unlike their last two meetings, never put a scare into Miami.
BULLS 96, PACERS 90
CHICAGO — Derrick Rose scored 36 points, Carlos Boozer added 17 points and 16 rebounds, and the top-seeded Chicago Bulls pulled out another dramatic victory over Indiana, beating the Pacers in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series.
Rose scored eight points over the final 4 minutes. Kyle Korver nailed another big 3-pointer to make it 90-85 with just over a minute left after hitting the tiebreaker in the opener.
A.J. Price hit three free throws with 23.4 seconds left after being fouled by Rose to cut the lead to 90-88. Luol Deng quickly answered with two of his own to make it a four-point game. Ronnie Brewer added two more after a missed 3 by Mike Dunleavy, and Chicago, which made their last 16 free throws, hung on to go up 2-0.