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Chris Bosh helps Heat survive OT in Milwaukee

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MILWAUKEE WI - JANUARY 07: Chris Bosh #1 of the Miami Heat passes against the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center on January 7 2011 in Milwaukee Wisconsin.
MILWAUKEE WI - JANUARY 07: Chris Bosh #1 of the Miami Heat passes against the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center on January 7 2011 in Milwaukee Wisconsin.

The Miami Heat came into Milwaukee rested, confidant and ready to roll on their 5-game road trip.  Usually it takes the Heat a little while to get going and it seemed that this game would be no different.  Miami started out just 1-of-5 from the field but they quickly turned things around before the Bucks could jump out to an early lead. 

The Heat used a 12-2 run to open up a nice lead and they would finish the 1st quarter making 10 of their last 14 shots en route to a 30-18 lead.  Miami was able to push their lead up to 16 points a couple of times during the 2nd quarter, but the Bucks battled right back.  They ended the 1st half outscoring the Heat 13-4, cutting the deficit down to 7.

Usually the Heat has a rough start to the game and make up for it with a very good 3rd quarter, but that was not the case last night.  Miami came out after halftime looking pretty off, missing 9 of their first 11 shots and letting the Bucks come all the way back to tie the game.  Whatever happened to the Heat, they had lost their spark and were struggling to get anything consistent going.

The difference maker for Milwaukee was Chris Douglas-Roberts, who came off the bench to score a season high in points while picking up steals, blocks, rebounds...you name it, CDR was doing it.  He had 21 points after 3 quarters, where Dwyane Wade had just 8 for the Heat, who really needed someone to step up the way that Douglas-Roberts was for Milwaukee.  

Wade was having a rough night due in part to Luc Maba a Moute playing some very tight defense.  Dwyane's frustrations began to boil over in the 4th quarter after a couple non-calls against him.  He was T-ed up for complaining after he felt he was fouled on a dunk attempt, then right after that he was called for back-to-back fouls on essentially the same play, trying to run through a pick on defense. 

A real dumb-dumb move by Mario Chalmers came shortly after that.  Rio was called for an offensive foul when he kicked his leg out while taking a 3-pointer (and it was a good call by the ref), and Chalmers kept bitching at the ref for a good 30 seconds until he was finally given a technical foul.  That free throw gave the Bucks their first lead since the score was 7-5.

With under 5 minutes left in the 4th quarter the Heat had scored just 6 points.  They hadn't hit a field goal since the opening minute of the quarter and hadn't even been to the free throw line since there was 9:10 left.  Miami then really dug in on defense, which we have seen can fuel the Heat offense, and that's exactly what happened in this one.

Miami went on a 10-2 run in the final 4 minutes that had them up by 4 with 23 seconds left.  Chris Bosh was doing it all for the Heat down the stretch; he gave Miami the lead when he tipped a D-Wade missed free throw right back in the bucket, then hit a pair of free throws that gave Miami the 4 point lead.

Milwaukee got within 2 points thanks to Andrew Bogut surprising everyone by hitting a couple of huge free throws.  Immediately following that Carlos Arroyo turned the ball over when he fumbled the in-bound pass from LeBron James right out of bounds.  Little Earl Boykins tied the game with 1.5 seconds left, and D-Wade missed a shot at the buzzer, sending the game to overtime. 

Already in shutdown defensive mode, Miami allowed the Bucks to score just 4 points in the extra session.  They would make all 6 of their free throws and come away with a very hard earned victory.  The effort was definitely there for the Heat, but this was definitely an ‘off' night.  Only LeBron James cracked the 20-point plateau, finishing with 26 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 6 steals and a block. 

On the other side of the court, it was a pair of Bucks that really made the difference.  As I mentioned earlier, Chris Douglas-Roberts had a career night with 30 points on 12-of-19 shooting.  He also grabbed 5 rebounds and blocked 4 shots, all of which came off the bench. 

The other difference maker was Andrew Bogut.  We all know that this guy is a double double machine but he took his rebounding to another level last night.  He finished the game with 27 rebounds, the most ever for an opponent against the Heat.  The majority of them were collected simply because he is so massive and is very good at positioning himself, but regardless its still very impressive. 

Juwan Howard had one of his better games in a Heat uniform, finishing with 7 points and 4 rebounds in 16 minutes.  He had a very nice sequence where on one end of the floor he made a nice little hook shot while being fouled.  After completing the 3-point play, he came back on defense and drew a charge on Corey Maggette.  It was his 6th drawn charge of the season.

GAME NOTES

  • The Big 3 combined to score just 56 points on 18-of-58 shooting. 
  • Chris Bosh started the game just 1-of-9 from the field but he would finish 6-of-16.
  • Late in the 2nd quarter LeBron James blocked a Keyon Dooling layup attempt.  It was the 500th block of LeBron's career. 
  • Over the last two seasons (08-09 and 09-10) James Jones hit a total of 70 shots from beyond the arc.  Last night he went 2-for-2 from downtown, giving him 72 triples in 38 games this year. 
  • Both teams had turnover problems.  Miami gave the ball away 16 times while the Bucks turned it over 23 times. 
  • There aren't many nights where the Heat can shoot 39%, get out-rebounded and still win the game. 

The Heat now head west to Oregon, where the Trail Blazers will be waiting for them. Tipoff on Sunday will be at 9pm.

Video courtesy of SNOOP97DAWG: