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NBA: Bulls Trounce Heat in Season Opener


The Chicago Bulls trounced the Miami Heat 108-66 Tuesday night in the opening game of the National Basketball Association's new season.

The loss was an embarrassing end to a night which had seen the Heat receive their 2005-06 championship rings during a lavish pre-game ceremony. It was the worst opening season loss for a defending champion in NBA history.

Chicago's Kirk Hinrich scored 26 points, while teammate Chris Duhon scored 20 points as the Bulls charged to a 29-point half-time lead.

Dwayne Wade was the only Miami player to score in double figures with 25 points. Teammate Shaquille O'Neal scored just seven points on 3-10 shooting, and pulled down five rebounds.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Lakers erased a 19-point deficit in the first quarter to beat the Phoenix Suns 114-106 in Tuesday's other season opener.

Lamar Odom scored 34 points to lead the Lakers, while grabbing 13 rebounds and six assists. Nineteen-year-old teammate Andrew Bynum added 18 points. Los Angeles was playing without star Kobe Bryant, who sat out because of soreness in his surgically repaired knee.

Leandro Barbosa scored a career-high 30 points for the Suns, while teammates Shawn Marion added 16 points and Steve Nash, the league's reigning most valuable player, chipped in 15 points.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.