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Dwyane Wade's big 4th quarter helps Heat get past Milwaukee

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The Heat were well aware of how dangerous the Milwaukee Bucks can be on the road, and coach Erik Spoelstra made sure to remind his team of that before the tipoff.  Both teams came out playing well and making shots, but as usual the Heat D intensified as the game grew older.  After Ersan Ilyasova tied the game at 20 with 3 minutes left, Miami held the Bucks without a field goal for the remainder of the 1st quarter.

The Heat came into the 2nd with a 26-20 lead.  With D-Wade and LeBron on the bench Chris Bosh got very aggressive, scoring 10 points in the first few minutes of the quarter.  As the quarter went by though, Miami couldn't match the tempo of the Bucks.  The Heat were shooting better but were definitely being outplayed, and after holding a lead as large as 11 points they let Milwaukee right back in the game.

The Bucks went on an 18-3 run late in the half and took a 4-point lead into the half.  Milwaukee was sent to the free throw line 20 times in the 2nd quarter by the Heat, which is just ridiculously unacceptable.  This kind of thing isn't uncommon for Miami, and while that isn't a good thing, it does give Heat fans a sense of comfort knowing that their team is likely going to come back.

Miami clamped down on defense in the 3rd quarter, holding the Bucks to 3 points over the last 3:26 and just 19 points in the quarter.  The Big 3 did most of the scoring damage but it was a James Jones triple that put the Heat in front by 3, which is the lead they took into the final 12 minutes.

The 4th quarter was all Miami.  They led the whole way and with 4:20 left went on a game clinching 13-0 run that include a pair of Mario Chalmers triples.  I couldn't believe that I was watching the same game when the Heat were dominating the end and holding a 20-point lead, but that's the way this team seems to be doing things.  It's not often when they can put together a full 48-minutes, but when they are on their game nobody can stop them.

GAME NOTES

  • A quiet double double for Chris Bosh, finishing with 19 and 12.
  • Miami's point guards had a pretty awful night that was sugar coated by Mario Chalmers late triples. 
  • Dwyane Wade scored 17 of his 34 points in the 4th quarter.  This guy is on fire lately...
  • Miami won the rebounding battle 47-34.
  • Erick Dampier played 20 productive minutes, hustling his butt off and finishing with 2 points, 9 boards and 2 blocks. 
  • On a Tuesday night against Milwaukee, the AAA attendance was 20,215.  The building capacity is 19,600.  That's just awesome.  Good job Heat fans!

This was the Heat's last home game for a couple weeks.  The circus is coming to town, which means its time for Miami to hit the road for a while.  They start a 5-game road trip on Friday in Milwaukee, then head to Portland, L.A., Denver and Chicago. 

One final note...before the game Udonis Haslem told the media that he is targeting a "late March" return.