Hassan Whiteside enjoyed one of his more dominant efforts this season as the Miami Heat picked up another quality road win, this time against the Milwaukee Bucks in a 106-101 victory that helped put their lackluster effort versus the Chicago Bulls behind them.
The big man totaled a season-high 27 points (with an efficient 10-12 from the field and 7-9 from the charity stripe), 13 rebounds and six blocks and was a force to be reckoned with on both ends, recalling his big-time efforts when he was establishing himself as a premiere center earlier with the Heat. Goran Dragic and Kelly Olynyk scored 15 points each, and Josh Richardson contributed 14 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Just four reserve players entered the game for the Heat and were instrumental in the win. Justise Winslow had another solid game and nailed a huge three-pointer to help seal the victory in the closing moments of the game. Wayne Ellington went 3-6 from downtown while Bam Adebayo filled up the box score with four points, seven rebounds (four offensive), and five assists in 19 minutes.
Miami hung in there in the first half as the Bucks tried to establish their brand of uptempo play but it was the Heat that drew blood the first time with a 12-0 run to make it 23-11 in the first quarter. Bucks guard Tony Snell knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to help get his team right back in it and both teams would trade blows throughout the first and second quarters.
By halftime, the Bucks would have their biggest lead at the time with the score 57-52 after scoring 32 points in the second quarter, and they picked up right where they left off at the start of the third quarter to boost their lead. Miami would once again fight right back and they retook the lead at 78-77 near the end of the third quarter.
After back-to-back baskets from Khris Middleton to give his team an 83-78 advantage one minute into the final quarter, the Bucks couldn’t withstand the Heat’s final push down the stretch, aided by Olynyk’s 10 fourth quarter points, to defeat them for the second time in four nights. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 22 points but was ineffective in the fourth quarter with just three points.
The Heat have now won 15 of their last 20 games and improved their road record to an impressive 14-9. Miami will next visit the Brooklyn Nets on Friday at 7:30pm.