Heat final score: Miami's decisive run stops Bucks

Chris Andersen and Ray Allen trap J.J. Redick. - USA TODAY Sports

The Heat had a one-point lead with 4:40 left in the third quarter. By the 8:48 mark of the fourth, it was 90-73. Yes, the Heat made another one of those runs.

By now, Miami Heat fans shouldn't feel an iota of surprise when it happens -- the Heat play the first two-and-a-half quarters lackadaisically before going on an amazing run that puts the game out of reach. Miami did it countless times during the 27-game winning streak. And the Heat did it again Thursday night to take a 3-0 series lead, now standing on the brink of sweeping its first series since 2005.

Milwaukee built a 10-point lead early on, but Miami played well enough to cut the deficit to two by halftime. The Heat went on a 13-4 run to close the third quarter and went into the fourth with a 10-point lead. Chris Andersen made two nice layups during that run, reaping the benefits of Miami's dribble penetration. And Norris Cole picked J.J. Redick's pocket nine seconds into the fourth period for an easy layup. The Heat began to play with the great ball movement that always finds good shot opportunities, somehow finding Ray Allen wide open for two corner 3-pointers. Miami led 90-73 with 8:48 left in the game and cruised to a 104-91 final score. To put it in perspective, the Heat had just a 65-64 lead with 4:40 left in the third quarter.

The end result of this game wasn't surprising, but the process was. Miami managed to cut a double-digit deficit to just two by halftime thanks in large part to Ray Allen, who actually led Heat scorers tonight with 23 points. Allen made three 3-pointers in the final four minutes of the second quarter and knocked down two more in the fourth to put the game to rest. Udonis Haslem scored eight points in the third quarter -- all before Miami's run -- and prevented the Heat from falling into another deficit. Like Andersen, Haslem found opportunities at the rim after his defender helped off dribble penetration. LeBron James found Haslem for a nasty one-handed dunk for his last bucket.

Meanwhile, Dwyane Wade struggled mightily from the floor, going just 1-for-12. He and Bosh couldn't get a bucket for the entire first half, but both turned it around in their own ways. Wade finished with 11 assists, nine rebounds, five steals and two blocks, consistently giving up good shots for himself in favor of better shots for teammates. Bosh grabbed 14 rebounds and even managed to improve his scoring total to 16 points in the fourth quarter. Milwaukee experimented with some zone with the game already decided, but Miami consistently found open shooters, whether it was Bosh or Allen.

James finished with 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the field, five rebounds and six assists in 33 minutes. But the story tonight wasn't about the three-time MVP. Tonight was about why Miami is noticeably better than it was last year. The Heat comfortably won a road playoff game with its second-best player having an abysmal shooting night. Why? Because new additions Allen and Andersen provided great offensive production, and the Heat's overall cohesion is much better than it was at any point last season. The ball movement is seamless, and the defense is aggressive. The Heat even out-rebounded the Bucks for the third time this series, 43-38, and dominated Milwaukee in second-chance points. Wasn't that supposed to be the Heat's one weakness? Oh wait...

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Hot Hot Hoops

You must be a member of Hot Hot Hoops to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Hot Hot Hoops. You should read them.

Join Hot Hot Hoops

You must be a member of Hot Hot Hoops to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Hot Hot Hoops. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker