Speaking of Space Jam....I believe I can flyyyy
The game started out with both teams executing on the offensive end. For Miami, Dwyane Wade was attacking the rim and finishing or getting to the line. The Heat also went to Jermaine O'Neal as they customary do and he chipped in with six points before exiting with an injury. For Milwaukee, John Salmons made a couple of quick buckets before they got contributions elsewhere. After the first media timeout with the score tied at 14, The Heat were able to build a small lead with more of Wade and also getting to the line and making all 12 of their first quarter free throws. The Bucks were doing their damage with second chance points coming after offensive rebounds. The first quarter ended 28-20 in favor of the Heat.
In the second quarter, the Heat defense tightened up and the lead grew. Milwaukee went to a 2-3 zone defense, which stifled the Heat for a little bit. Eventually though, Miami broke it down and was able to get some good looks and finish. Unlike last night's game in Chicago, Wade was the go-to scorer and he finished with 19 in the half to go along with 4 assists. After Kurt Thomas went to the bench with his third foul, Dan Gadzuric gave the Bucks some good minutes as he drew a charge and followed it up with an offensive rebound and putback. Halftime score, Heat lead 48-35
Scary scene a couple minutes before the break when Carlos Delfino was inadvertently hit in the head by Udonis Haslem's foot in a battle for a rebound. He remained face down on the floor until he was stretchered off. Thoughts and prayers from all Heat fans are with him. (As of 11:00pm est, word is he had neck and jaw pain but had movement in all of his extremities. He was taken to a hospital for X-rays.)
Miami continued to build it's lead in the third quarter. Just like the first half it was Wade who was attacking and doing the scoring. His first attempted and made three of the night was good and pushed the Heat lead to 20. It was Milwaukee who closed the quarter strong however. They went on a 13-1 run fueled by forcing the Heat into turnovers and holding them without a field goal for over five minutes. On the offensive end, shots were finally starting to drop and John Salmons reappeared attacking the basket. Michael Beasley's struggles continued, but Dorell Wright and the Heat were able to break the run and carry a 69-55 lead into the fourth.
Miami's second unit did a good job in the early fourth to not only hold the lead while Dwyane Wade was resting, but extend it. The Bucks looked tired out after their run to end the third and just couldn't muster much to continually cut into the lead. Wade entered with a little over six minutes to go and helped put the game out of reach while getting to the 30 point mark. Zeros on the clock and the Heat won the game 87-74
- Very nice game from Dwyane Wade. Tonight he took a bit more initiative to score the ball early. Milwaukee wasn't doubling as much as Chicago did and they paid for it. What really helped Wade though was draining some outside shots. He looked very confident after the first couple went in, but also did a good job of not getting greedy.
- The defense, again, was juts terrific. It's something really to be proud of in the last several games. It's mainly effort. The defensive rotations and the closeouts on shooters are crisp and right on time. Also, the team is more disciplined and not fouling as much. They are living with making the opponent take difficult shots, and over the course of 48 minutes, the percentages should be in your favor.
- Udonis Haslem grabbed 18 rebounds. He played many minutes at center, after J.O. went down and did more than admirably.
- Key in the first half was not only the Heat getting to the free throw line, but making them. They finished 25-28 from the stripe, good for nearly 90%.
- Huge, huge victory. Miami is now just one game back of Milwaukee for the #5 seed in the East (two in the loss column).