The Heat settle in for 10 of their next 11 games in the friendly confines of the AA Arena. Tonight's guest - the surprisingly good Milwaukee Bucks.
The Miami Heat will be hosting the Milwaukee Bucks at 7:30 at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Tonight will mark the first of four meetings this season between the two clubs, and the first of two in South Beach. The Heat will be playing in the first game of a four game homestand. In total, the Heat will play 10 of their next 11 at home. Miami is fresh off a 4-2 Western Conference roadtrip, and will host the Cleveland Cavaliers, the San Antonio Spurs, and the Brooklyn Nets in the coming days. The Bucks will be playing in the second and final game of a short road trip. They dropped the first game 102-98 on Monday night to the surprising Charlotte Bobcats. After tonight’s matchup, the Bucks will complete a home-and-home series with the Chicago Bulls.
The teams last met on February 13th at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee. Here's yahoo.com's recap (partial):
James scored 35 points on 16 for 21 shooting and the Heat used a third-quarter surge to beat the Bucks 114-96 on Monday night.
Dwyane Wade scored 22 and Mario Chalmers added 13 for the Heat, who were 0-2 against the Bucks this season coming into the game. James scored 16 of his points in the third quarter as the Heat took control.
''I know what happened the third quarter the last time we played here,'' James said. ''We had a big lead and they just came out and jumped on us. It was good that we were able to come out and put some pressure on them.''
Bucks coach Scott Skiles talked about the difficulties in guarding LeBron James:
''He can take and make difficult shots - and maybe they're not difficult for him,'' Skiles said. ''They're difficult for most people. They're not difficult for him. He hit a couple of fadeaways in front of our bench, 18-, 19-foot fadeaways with a guy in his face, so you've got to give him those.''
For the Bucks point of view, check out Brew Hoop.
Miami is coming off a nine point win over the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night. Partial recap from NBA.COM:
LeBron James under the weather is better than no LeBron James at all.
That was James' thinking when he decided to play despite flu-like symptoms, and he scored 21 points to help the depleted Miami Heat close out a six-game road trip with a 97-88 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night.
"Me at 50 percent or 60 percent is better than me not playing at all," he said.
The Heat, playing without Dwyane Wade for the second game in a row because of a left foot injury, led by as many as 15 in the third quarter and were up by nine with 5 1/2 minutes to play. The Suns cut it to two before Miami scored the game's final seven points.
Chris Bosh scored 24 points on 9-of-11 shooting for the Heat.
James, who missed the morning shootaround, made only 8 of 20 shots but still reached 20 points for the 11th time in 11 games this season. In the first quarter, he went to the locker room, where he said he got sick, then received some fluids that helped.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra spoke about James missing the shootaround:
When he missed today that makes you wonder, and you know it's pretty serious. We appreciate him even playing and giving us his presence. Even though he wasn't himself, he still had a spectacular game, and his presence was important for us.
For the Phoenix perspective, check out Bright Side Of The Sun.
The Bucks are coming off a four point loss at the hands of the suddenly relevant Charlotte Bobcats. Partial recap as seen on NBA.COM:
Ramon Sessions scored nine of his team-high 23 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Charlotte Bobcats to a 102-98 come-from-behind victory over the Milwaukee Bucks Monday night at Time Warner Cable Arena. Bryon Mullens added 19 points and nine rebounds in the winning effort. Monta Ellis scored a game-high 31 points for Milwaukee in the loss.
Bucks coach Scott Skiles spoke about Milwaukee's lack of focus:
"I don't want to short-change their win. They deserved to win the game, but our whole approach tonight was not good. We had great difficulty remembering plays and we were just mentally kind of out of it."
For more on the Bobcats, check out Rufus on Fire.
Game Time: 7:30 PM ET
Current Odds: Unavailable
All-Time Series: 54-33
Season Series: 0-0
Miami Heat: 8-3, first in the Southeast Division, third in the Eastern Conference, tied for fifth in the NBA. Last five: L-W-L-W-W. Current odds of making the postseason: 93.0%
Milwaukee Bucks: 6-3, first in the Central Division, fourth in the Eastern Conference, eighth in the NBA. Last five: L-W-W-W-L, Current odds of making the postseason: 80.8%
Bucks forward Luc Mbah a Moute is recovering from surgery on his right knee and will miss at least the next two weeks. Heat center Dexter Pittman is out indefinitely with strained quadriceps, and guard Dwyane Wade is listed as probable with a sprained left foot.
Starting Lineup/Team Stats: (MPG, PPG, RPG, APG, SPG, BPG); PER
PG - Mario Chalmers (26.3, 6.7, 2.5, 4.8, 1.7, 0.2) 12.4
SG - Dwyane Wade (33.3, 16.9, 4.1, 4.9, 1.3, 0.9) 19.1
SF - Shane Battier (26.0, 7.5, 2.1, 0.8, 0.6, 1.0) 10.9
PF - LeBron James (36.4, 24.5, 9.0, 6.5, 0.9, 1.0) 29.1
C- Chris Bosh (32.7, 19.6, 7.3, 1.5, 0.8, 1.4) 24.9
PG - Brandon Jennings (35.0, 16.7, 3.1, 7.7, 3.1, 0.3) 20.7
SG - Monta Ellis (35.8, 21.4, 3.3, 5.8, 1.3, 0.7) 18.2
SF - Tobias Harris (18.1, 7.9, 3.1, 0.8, 0.0, 0.3) 14.0
PF - Ersan Ilyasova (23.1, 6.6, 5.1, 1.3, 0.2, 0.1) 5.6
C - Samuel Dalembert (17.0, 7.4, 4.9, 0.6, 0.2, 1.1) 19.9
Ray Allen, 17-year veteran shooting guard for the Heat, spent the first seven seasons of his NBA career with the Bucks. He averaged 19.6 points, 4.6 boards, and 3.8 dimes in just over three quarters per game.
Ray Allen has averaged 14.6 points in 33 minutes per contest. Heat forward Udonis Haslem averages 9.5 points and 7.7 rebounds in 29 minutes per game. King James averages 41 minutes per contest against the Bucks, scoring 29.6 points with 7.3 rebounds and 7 assists.
Chris Bosh needs 16 field goals to pass Sherman Douglas into 17th on the all-time list with 1,012.
Joel Anthony needs nine rebounds to pass Bimbo Coles into 19th, with 1,070.
Chris Bosh will pass Tim Hardaway into 14th all-time with eight more rebounds, giving him 1,181.
Udonis Haslem needs two rebounds to move past Alonzo Mourning as the all-time leader, with 4,808.
Bucks forward Larry Sanders turns 24 today.
It was either something by REM (Peter Buck) or Buckcherry, so today we are going with the more recent of the two. Here's Buckcherry's Sunshine (NSFW).
The Bucks inexplicably took two of three from the eventual champion Heat last season. The Bucks have surprised in the early going, but haven't been able to pick it up from the outside (33.9% success rate). Look for the Bucks to come alive from three-point land tonight. Both teams will hit at least 12 three point shots. Miami comes away in a shootout, 120-112.