As has been the case so many times this season, probably anyone who has watched the Heat this season was waiting for the moment.
That moment when the Heat erupt and blow up a close game, putting it away in minutes. The Heat's explosive wing players start to force turnovers, or the Heat's long line of sharp shooters start lining them up, or the defensive intensity just suffocates an opponent for a stretch. Either way, we all know this Heat team can get it going fast.
This time, the moment began with 11:37 left in the fourth quarter. Up 68-65, Chris Andersen converted a lay-up and drew a foul, making the free throw and giving Miami a 71-65 lead. By the 9:37 mark, a Norris Cole 3-pointer put Miami up 80-65, and the moment happened faster than Larry Sanders can get up and block a shot.
James and a second unit spear-headed by Cole and Andersen brought the Heat to life, and ended any life the Bucks had as they kept within reach of Miami for most of the game.
Steady throughout the game, however, was Dwyane Wade, who ended the contest with 21 points and seven rebounds on 14 shots in 32 minutes, looking spry on his way to a few explosive dunks. LeBron James missed eight of his 14 shots but contributed eight rebounds and six assists, and made seven-of-eight free throws.
After getting a scoring punch from Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis is game one of this Eastern Conference quarterfinals matchup, the duo combined to go 5-for-22 from the field and score 15 points. Those numbers don't tell the whole story though. Milwaukee actually moved the ball well during the first three quarters, and Jennings wasn't making the bad decisions that he is prone to make. It allowed Ersan Ilyasova and Larry Sanders, more efficient offensive players, to put up the points, and the Bucks shot 50 percent as a team.
But then the moment happened. And now they're on a plane back home wondering how it happened so fast.
* James, who was guarded quite well by Bucks forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, didn't find his usual offensive rhythm. More on that later.
* Wade said in a post-game interview that he's 'not 100 percent' because of his right knee. He looked fine, but given that he only played 32 minutes, one has to wonder. Let's hope it's just precaution.
* Chris Andersen is probably Miami's fourth best player. You all know this from reading here, but his impact goes beyond the 10 points and six rebounds he provided off the bench tonight. His energy, and increasing chemistry with the team, is just piling on to the evidence that the Heat absolutely stole a good player for peanuts at mid-season.
* Miami got to the free throw line 26 times, making 22 of them, which was enough to make up for a below average offensive night from the field. The Heat shot just 45 percent from the field, and six-of-19 from beyond the arc.