The Miami Heat started their quest for the championship in the 2013 NBA Playoffs just how they imagined, with a dominant win in Game 1 at home. The Heat beat the Bucks 110-87.
Miami became the 7th consecutive home team to hold serve at home this postseason. Milwaukee had no response for the Heat in the second half. But in the first two quarters, the Bucks were able to hang around the defending champs. Despite holding a 13 point lead, the Bucks trailed by only 7 at the break, within striking distance. But the second half was a different story. The Heat soared offensively and clamped down defensively. They pushed the lead to 20+ several times and were even able to rest Dwyane Wade and LeBron James the final three minutes of the game.
LeBron came two assists shy of a triple double as he led the way with 27 points and 10 rebounds. James shot 81.8% from the field, his highest ever for a playoff game. It was also his 16th straight playoff game of 25+ points. Wade added 16 points in 32 minutes. Chris Bosh regained his playoff three-point stroke, as he stretched the Milwaukee bigs outside and sank 3-4 from downtown and had 15 points and 7 rebounds.
Off the bench for the Heat, Ray Allen added 20 points and Chris Andersen chipped in 10 points and 7 rebounds including some nice highlights. The Bucks were only close because of the individual talent of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis. Jennings had 26 points and Ellis had 22 but the Bucks starting backcourt only combined for 5 assists.
The Heat were able to contain Larry Sanders, a key point to their strategy. But they struggled with their turnovers, giving up 19 of them. James said after the game, "We have to do a better job." But all in all, the Heat looked really good for much of the game. And in the second half, they were just not going to be stopped.
If you watched the game you may have noticed that the Bucks rarely got into the offense that they wanted. If they weren't pushing the ball and scoring off the break, there were few times that they successfully ran the plays how they wanted. Miami was able to switch, trap and frustrate the Bucks to a degree. It was only the one-on-one play by Jennings and Ellis that kept them afloat. In fact, the Bucks had only 14 assists on 34 field goals, only 41% of their shots. In contrast, the Heat had 22 assists on 38 field goals.
The Heat and Bucks play Game 2 in Miami on Tuesday night.