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Heat receive championship rings

That’s the good news; bad news, 44-point loss

Associated Press

MIAMI — For 17 glorious minutes, replete with fireworks and blasts of flame, the Miami Heat held an elaborate pregame celebration of a championship they’ll always remember.

And then came the game, which the Heat will try to quickly forget.

Kirk Hinrich scored 26 points, Chris Duhon added 20 and the Chicago Bulls emphatically spoiled Miami’s championship-ring party, beating the defending NBA champion Heat 108-66 in Tuesday night’s season opener.

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"They earned what they received," Bulls coach Scott Skiles said, referring to the huge diamond-crusted rings handed to the Heat before the game by NBA commissioner David Stern. "It would be pretty foolish of me, after one game, to say we’re on their level."

The Bulls didn’t stay on the floor for the pregame festivities, retreating instead to their locker room. When they returned, they quickly snuffed out any remnants of Miami’s good mood, ripping off a 37-14 second-quarter run and building a 29-point lead by halftime.

By the end, the 42-point margin of defeat matched Miami’s fourth-worst in club history.

"Obviously, this is a total embarrassment," Heat center Alonzo Mourning said. "We’re better than what we showed out there tonight. I know things will get better before they get worse. Just kind of unfortunate, in our home opener, that we came out with this kind of showing."

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