Notebook: Heat 94, Bucks 83



Posted Apr 9, 2013 10:42 PM

By Zachary Paul, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Despite playing without Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, the Heat made easy work of the Bucks in a 94-83 victory Tuesday at AmericanAirlines Arena.

LeBron James led the way with 28 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for Miami (61-16). Wade sat for a fifth consecutive games because of knee soreness, while Bosh was out after experiencing flu-like symptoms earlier in the day. In their absence, the Heat received strong play from Udonis Haslem, Ray Allen and Norris Cole, who combined for 32 points.

The Heat sent a message to the Bucks (37-40), who they are likely to meet in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Milwaukee currently holds the No. 8 seed, which means a date with the top-seeded Heat. With the victory, the Heat won the regular-season series 3-1. The Bucks were led by Brandon Jennings' 30 points and four assists.

QUOTABLE: ""We'll take it. A lot of guys contributed. The second half was good, so the train keeps on moving."

--Heat coach Erik Spoelstra

THE STAT: The Heat, often criticized for their lack of rebounding, actually outrebounded the Bucks 49-37. Haslem was the catalyst, pulling down 15 boards.

TURNING POINT: The Heat used a 14-2 run midway through the third quarter to take control.

HOT: Yet another strong game from James, who is still dealing with a sore hamstring. He showed no signs of the injury, especially in the second half when he helped the Heat take control. It was another efficient game, with James shooting 11-for-16 from the field.

NOT: The Bucks acquired J.J. Redick for an offensive spark off the bench, but he shot just 2-for-9 from the field. It will only get tougher for him in the postseason once Wade returns.

GOOD MOVE: The fast start by Haslem was a confidence-booster for the Heat. He scored all 10 of his points in the first quarter. Haslem, who has been criticized for his offensive struggles this season, gave a glimpse of the player who has been a reliable scoring option over the years.

BAD MOVE: The Bucks are going to need big games from their backcourt of Jennings and Monta Ellis if they have any hopes of upsetting the Heat in the postseason. While Jennings was impressive, Ellis was a non-factor.

NOTABLE: Wade is expected to travel with the team to Washington for Wednesday's game although it is unlikely for Bosh. It means he is likely to miss his third straight game ... Haslem started in place of Bosh. ...The Heat improved to 34-4 at home .... Miami's 61 wins are tied for the most in franchise history.

UP NEXT: For the Heat, Wednesday @ Wizards, Friday vs. Celtics, Sunday vs. Bulls. For the Bucks, Wednesday @ Magic, Friday @ Hawks, Saturday @ Bobcats.