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Heat lose to Bucks 138-122, head back to Miami with series tied 1-1
Milwaukee made a franchise playoff record 25 3-pointers.
The Miami Heat were unable to seize control over the Milwaukee Bucks and go home with the series tied 1-1. They lose to the Bucks on the road by double digits, 138-122 in a game where the Bucks just simply couldn’t miss shots. They made a franchise playoff record 25/49 3 point field goals and dominated in the paint as well, led by Brook Lopez.
Lopez was Milwaukee’s leading man with 25 points on 12/17 shooting. The big man made it look easy out there and took advantage of Miami’s smaller lineup. Jrue Holiday also had his imprint all over this game with a 24 point 11 assist double double. Pat Connaughton caught fire off the bench and poured in 22 points on 6/10 shooting from downtown.
Bobby Portis, who started in place of Giannis Antetokounmpo, set the tone early and got the fans fired up. He finished with a 13 point and 15 rebound double double.
As for Miami, they shot the ball at a very respectable clip efficiency wise. As a team they went 45/84 from the field and 16/36 from 3. That’s good for 54% and 44%, respectively. Both those numbers are above league average. However, the Heat committed much more turnovers with 17 over the Bucks 11.
Miami had 6 players in double figures in Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Gabe Vincent, Caleb Martin, Duncan Robinson and Victor Oladipo. Butler led with 25 points on 8/12 shooting and Adebayo had 18 points on 9/16 shooting.
Robinson wound up getting the start for the injured Tyler Herro at SG, but started out rough. He committed 2 bad fouls and had a turnover in his limited first half minutes. Luckily, he filled it up offensively in the 2nd half going 4/6 from 3 and finishing with a solid 14 points.
Victor Oladipo, who I predicted would get the start, looked good off the bench in spurts as well. He finished with 15 points and 5 rebounds.
Miami needs to do a much better job at making it harder for the Bucks to get clean looks. They need to alter shots and force them to play at our pace and game. It starts from setting the tone defensively like how Kevin Love did with the early charges in game 1. Unfortunately, Love didn’t have the same impact tonight and struggled in his 11 minutes.
Something that also needs to be addressed is going back to tightening up the rotation. Miami has been at their best with an 8 man rotation, tonight Erik Spoelstra went 11 deep. Yes, some minutes from Cody Zeller and Haywood Highsmith were in garbage time, but someone has to be the odd man out.
The fact that Oladipo and Robinson both had good nights is going to make rotation decisions a bit tougher.
Hopefully, this Heat team can take advantage of their home court power after stealing game 1 on the road and bounce back. Going into this series as a serious underdog, having the series tied within the first two games on the road is all you can ask for from an 8th seed team playing the best squad in the entire NBA.
Miami will tip off again inside the Kaseya Center against Milwaukee Saturday at 7:30 PM ET.