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Heat deal with Bucks in potential playoff matchup

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The Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks entered the night as a potential first round playoff matchup, and the Heat put forth a strong effort on both sides of the ball to win their 21st game in a row.

Dwyane Wade had to leave the game temporarily, but finished with 20 points.
Dwyane Wade had to leave the game temporarily, but finished with 20 points.

All of the great news the Heat have made recently, from their 21-game winning streak to the player of the week and month awards in between, and everything else, could be put in proper context.

As much as Miami has been great, and they are probably the best team on earth, going on such a streak has a lot to do with good fortune. Not only some good bounces, but some particularly good health. The Heat nearly had to deal with the latter when Dwyane Wade went down with a neck injury in the first quarter.

Larry Sanders went for a block after Wade made a swift post move toward the basket and fouled him (Which wasn't called), apparently inadvertently crashing his lower body into Wade's head. Wade had to leave the game temporarily.

But Miami got another stroke of good luck and avoided bad news.

Wade returned to the game and finished with 20 points, nine assists, seven rebounds, two steals and a block in 33 minutes and looked as if nothing ever happened for much of it.

Miami's been a picture of great health all season, and along with LeBron James' minor knee injury that was a scare at New York on March 3rd, the Heat exhaled again when Wade emerged and played well in another Heat win.

In the 107-94 win over the Milwaukee Bucks (32-32) the Heat moved to 50-14 on the season and now own the third longest winning streak in modern NBA history, one away from the 2007-08 Houston Rockets, who won 22 in a row.

"It's good to get a good road win in a building where we haven't really played well in our three years together," Heat forward LeBron James said. "The way we played for 48 minutes is how we've tried to win throughout this streak. We're just trying to make a mark on NBA history, any way we can."

The Heat held the Bucks to 37 percent shooting, and held a hot Monta Ellis to seven points, Despite getting drilled by Ersan Ilyasova and getting beaten on the boards, the Heat got 18 points off of turnovers and efficient offensive play to secure the win.

James and Chris Bosh led the team with 28 points. Shane Battier chipped in with nine points and Ray Allen added another seven.

Bosh had one of his better nights on the season, with his 28 points coming on just 16 shots. The 28-year-old All-Star made two 3-pointers on the night, which gave him a career high 13 3-point field goals on the year.

James tied a career best with his 30th double double of the season.

The Heat will suit up next at Toronto on March 17 at 1 p.m.

Final - 3.15.2013 1 2 3 4 Total
Miami Heat 26 25 33 23 107
Milwaukee Bucks 27 15 26 26 94

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