Another game, another team beating the Chicago Bulls up in their own house.
"I remember coming here and getting our butts kicked," Mourning said of the days when Michael Jordan made the United Center a very inhospitable place. "Times change. Players change. Teams change."
The Bulls didn't wait long to have a meltdown. Just 90 seconds into the game, coach Tim Floyd was called for arguing a no-call on Dickey Simpkins. Floyd was so irate he walked onto the floor, almost stepping on referee Dee Kantner.
A minute later, Randy Brown was called for an offensive foul and then whistled for another one at the other end of the floor. Toni Kukoc protested, drawing a technical, and then Brown joined in, drawing another technical.
By the time Tim Hardaway was finished shooting the technical free throws plus two more for Brown's foul, the Heat had a 9-2 lead and the Bulls were all but done.
"We have to play through that," Simpkins said. "It was very frustrating, obviously. But we can't cry over spilt milk. We still have to execute. We didn't execute."
At least it was better than the last time the Heat viited Chicago, when the Bulls scored an NBA record-low 49 points.
The Bulls made a little run in the third quarter, led by Kukoc's 10 points. An 18-foot jumper from rookie Ron Artest cut Miami's lead to 65-51 with 3:58 left in the third, but Artest fouled Anthony Carter twice, and Carter made all four of his foul shots.
Back-to-back 3-pointers from Mashburn and Lenard put Miami back up 77-55 with 1:48 left in the third, and Chicago struggled to stay within 20 from there.
"Even at halftime, we said the game wasn't over," Hersey Hawkins said. "Unfortunately, every time we'd make a little run, we'd turn the ball over or get called for a foul."
Lenard went 6-of-8 from 3-point range. Hardaway added 11 points for the Heat.
Kukoc, who was a dismal 1-of-14 in the season opener, led the Bulls with 25 points. Fred Hoiberg had 11 and Dedric Willoughby scored 10 points in his first NBA game.
Rookie No. 1 pick Elton Brand was just 1-of-4 for 4 points.
"They pounced on us from the start," Brand said. "We wanted to fight and come back. We just couldn't."
The Bulls couldn't get anything going offensively in the first quarter. Five of their 19 shots were blocked. The Heat held them scoreless for almost five minutes as they went on a 9-0 run, sparked by Mourning's fallaway jumper, to take a 29-12 lead with 2:59 left in the first.
"The Bulls are playing the cap game," Heat coach Pat Riley said. "They're trying to stay alive for the market. Tim doesn't have the team he really wants to have yet."
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