Bucks Put Heat On Brink, Win 113-84 For 3-0 Series Lead – CBS Miami
MIAMI (AP) – Khris Middleton scored 22 points, Jrue Holiday added 19 points and 12 assists and the Milwaukee Bucks won the Eastern Conference semifinals after beating the Miami Heat 113-84 on Thursday night.
Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 17 points and 17 rebounds for the Bucks. They lead the preliminary round series 3-0 and will fight for victory on the reigning East German champion on Saturday.
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The Bucks won Game 2 by 34 points and made Game 3 equally decisive, by 32 points. Brook Lopez scored 13 points while Bryn Forbes and Bobby Portis each had 11 for Milwaukee.
Jimmy Butler scored 19 points and Bam Adebayo had 17 points for Miami. Nemanja Bjelica – who was little used by Miami this season and then called in desperation for any kind of outside shooting on Thursday – scored 14 points.
Milwaukee beat Miami 56-41, kept the heat at 38% when shooting, and became the first team to lead Miami twice with 29 points or more in the same playoff series.
And that after the Bucks hit Miami at 47 in December in Miami.
By far the largest crowd of the season – the Heat expected 17,000 in a building that in normal times labeled 19,600 sold out – showed up, most of them in their seats, hoping to turn the start of one around.
Instead, they saw Miami’s slowest start to the season in the biggest game of the season.
The Heat scored only eight points in the first nine minutes of the game, the fewest in such an opening range since last August and the fewest who opened a game in their home country since November 14, 2018.
It was 26-14 Milwaukee after a quarter, then the lead swelled to 19-44-25 in the second quarter before reaching 49-36 in the half. That corresponded to the fewest points that the Bucks had allowed in a first half for more than three years.
And in the third, whenever Miami seemed like things were going to get tight, Milwaukee had a rebuttal.
Butler met to reach Miami within 14; Forbes followed with a 3-pointer. Adebayo had a three-point game to bring it back to 14; Antetokounmpo responded with a jumper. Tyler Herro hit a 3-pointer to reach Miami for the third time within 14; the Bucks scored the next five points.
The margin rose to 27 in the third quarter. Quite a few of these 17,000 fans didn’t stay long.
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Bucks: Donte DiVencenzo (left bruised foot) played for nine minutes and was excluded for the remainder of the game. He missed all four of his shots. The last time Milwaukee conceded less than 36 points in a first half was on April 22, 2018, when they gave up 35 in a playoff game against Boston. The Bucks gave up on November 16, 2019 in Indiana 36.
Heat: NBA Vice Commissioner Mark Tatum and rapper Flo Rida were part of the crowd. … Not only did The Heat give fans the chance to get their first dose of the Moderna vaccine at the game, but it also added another incentive by giving fans 10% off purchases in the Team Store. … Heat fans who were aware that Antetokounmpo was called for a 10-second free throw violation in Game 1 screamed a second count on his fourth quarter fouls.
Miami led more than Milwaukee in Game 1; the Heat were just over 22 minutes ahead, the Bucks just over 21 minutes. Everything has been Milwaukee since then. Out of 96 possible minutes in Games 2 and 3, Milwaukee led 93 minutes, 49 seconds; it is tied for 1:54 and the heat led a total of 17 seconds.
This is Miami’s first 3-0 series deficit since a first-round match against Boston in 2010. The Heat lost that series in five games and has not been cleared since the 2007 first round against Chicago. Milwaukee leads 3-0 for the first time since defeating Detroit in Round 1 of the 2019 playoffs.
No possession made Milwaukee’s rebounding dominance more apparent than one towards the end of the first quarter when the Bucks got four offensive boards before scoring a goal. Portis and PJ Tucker each had two offensive rebounds in possession that ended with a Portis putback.
Miami’s last postseason win at his home stadium was May 13, 2016. Of the current Heat players, only Goran Dragic and Udonis Haslem remain on that team. Dragic scored 30 points in this win over Toronto; Haslem didn’t play. They didn’t make the playoffs in 2017 or 2019, were 0-2 in the 2018 playoffs, and weren’t at home in last year’s run to the NBA final.
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