The Miami Heat went into Sunday evening’s contest against the Milwaukee Bucks with a home record of 6-1 and had defeated the Spurs, Lakers and Sixers to start off their home stand 3-0. The Bucks took to the floor with a below .500 record and had gotten their first win on the road on Friday night as they defeated the flailing New York Knicks. The fans in attendance in Miami’s American Airlines Arena expected to see a one-sided contest with their team coming out on top in the matchup they were about to witness; however as the old saying goes “That’s Why They Play The Game.”
Bucks floor general Brandon Jennings knocked down 23 points while reserve center Ersan Ilyasova came off the bench adding 16 points as Milwaukee shut down their hosts and won the game 91-82. Although the visitors shot a mediocre 35% (28-80) they simply took more shots than their opponents who shot only slightly better at 37.3% (25-67) for the night. Although Miami had won three straight games without All-Star guard Dwyane Wade on the floor they could not pull off the feat for a fourth time. LeBron James was the game’s high scorer as he notched a double-double with 28 points while Chris Bosh put up 23 more; but they got far too little support from their teammates to win this time around.
Both teams looked rather lethargic during the opening period and both sides appeared to have left their offense in their respective locker rooms. Miami rookie point guard Norris Cole split a pair at the charity stripe with 16 seconds to play and his team held the edge at the end of the quarter with the score 21-18, The Heat’s offense continued to sputter in the second but Milwaukee had found their shooting touch. With 35 seconds remaining Tobias Harris drove the lane putting the ball up and in and at the half the Bucks walked into the locker room on top 46-41.
The two clubs repeatedly exchanged the lead throughout the third with neither squad going up by more than four points. Stephen Jackson buried a 25 foot trey with four seconds left in the period and the Bucks would hold a paper-thin 65-63 lead at the end of the quarter. Miami would get within one point of their guests early in the third but could not get over the hump. Milwaukee would then pull ahead and hold on for their second straight win on the road.
Jennings knocked down 23 points, 6 assists, 6 rebounds and 2 steals while Ilyasova came off the bench with 16 points, 6 rebounds and a steal. Andrew Bogut had 13 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 assists and a steal while Shaun Livingston and Jackson each scored 10 points in the victory.
James scored 28 points, 13 boards, 5 assists and a steal for the night. Bosh added 23 points, 6 rebounds and 1 assist while Mario Chalmers put up 12 points, 2 assists and 2 rebounds. Milwaukee now has a 6-9 record and will host the Atlanta Hawks on Monday while Miami is now 11-5 and welcome the Cleveland Cavaliers to town on Tuesday.