The Miami Heat returned to the team we are accustomed to seeing on Tuesday night, beating the Milwaukee Bucks 118-95. The Heat improved to 5-3 on the season.
LeBron James did most of his damage in the third period where he scored 17 of his game high 33 points. The Heat had the game in hand by the end of the third, that James didn't even need to play the fourth quarter. Despite subpar performances by Dwyane Wade (8 points) and Chris Bosh (10 points), the Heat had no trouble with the Bucks leading by double figures for the whole second half.
James had a few spectacular plays, including a one handed alley-oop from Chalmers, and a throw-down dunk after faking out the defense. LeBron hit 4 three-pointers in the third to stun the Bucks.
Miami played without Ray Allen and Udonis Haslem. This again, gave the opportunity for Michael Beasley to get more minutes, and Beasley had his best showing of the season. In 20 minutes, Beasley had 19 points and 3 assists. That included a highlight alley-oop from Wade, and a thunderous one hand jam. More importantly than that, Beasley seemed to fit in the offense. Although he enjoys taking shots, he found himself in the right places to score and to pass when appropriate. It was an encouraging night for the progression of Beasley.
Many Heat personnel offered positive thoughts on Beasley's performance.
"He's playing hard. Defensively he's in tune and he's getting better" said LeBron James. Shane Battier added, "He's really trying and making an effort. He's showing great improvements."
Coach Spoelstra said, "He's been terrific with his work ethic and consistency. He needs to continue to move forward and take advantages of opportunities." And lastly Wade added, "We wanted to get him comfortable in the offense because we know we're going to need him."
Mario Chalmers also had a strong game for the Heat, scoring 15 points and adding 7 assists. It was a relatively easy night for Miami with Dwyane Wade leading Miami with 31 minutes. The Bucks only had one starter score in double figures as LeBron matched their offensive output in the decisive third quarter.
A couple strong points for the Heat tonight were a +6 rebounding advantage, impressive considering Miami ranks last in rebounding. And the Heat again continue to share the ball extremely well distributing 29 assists on 46 field goals. The Heat had 56 points in the paint (30 for Milwaukee) and they shot 58% from the field. 118 points is a season high for the Heat.
The Bucks may not have put up the strongest challenge, but for a Heat team that was nearing a .500 record, this was a good win. They will need to play well also as they close out their home stand this Friday against the Dallas Mavericks.
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