Notebook: Heat 88, Bucks 77

Posted Apr 29, 2013 7:26 AM

Rick Braun, for

THE FACTS: No Dwyane Wade? No problem.

LeBron James scored 30 points and led a fourth-quarter pull-away as the Miami Heat swept the Milwaukee Bucks out of the playoffs with an 88-77 victory Sunday at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

With the 4-0 sweep, the Heat advances to the second round of the NBA Playoffs to meet the winner of the Chicago-Brooklyn series.

James assisted on four huge 3-pointers and scored the other seven points in a 19-5 run in the fourth quarter after Milwaukee pulled within 69-67 on a basket by Monta Ellis.

Ellis led the Bucks with 21 points and eight assists, but backcourt mate Brandon Jennings had his third straight off game with just three points.

The Heat won despite the absence of Wade, who sat out because of a sore right knee.

Ray Allen added 16 points, including 4-of-7 shooting on 3-pointers.

QUOTABLE: "They made a run. From that point we were just able to execute. I was able to find Ray, find Shane (Battier). I was also able to find 'Rio' (Mario Chalmers), too, to put us up seven (actually eight) when they made their run. It's good to have the type of depth that we have where I can kind of draw two defenders and be able to find the shooters."
-- James on his four assists and seven points in the Heat's decisive run.

THE STAT: Since James joined the team, the Heat are now 30-7 in games where Dwyane Wade rests.

THE STAT II: Miami led from the first basket on. From the point where the Heat built an 11-point lead, 32-21, with 8:17 left in the second quarter, the Bucks managed to pull within a single shot (3 points or closer) 11 times but could never get back to even.

TURNING POINT: Milwaukee cut the deficit to 69-67 on a 3-pointer by Mike Dunleavy and a runner in the lane by Ellis with 9:34 left. Ellis also was fouled on the play but missed the free throws. From there, the Heat went on a 19-5 run to put the game away. James first found Allen on the left wing for a 3-pointer, then drew the defense and fed a wide-open Chalmers for a three that made it 75-67. James capped the run with a layup that made it 88-72 with 2:41 left.

QUOTABLE II: "We don't take it for granted. I don't know if we expect it. But great players make great plays, particularly when you need it most in clutch times. LeBron, Dwyane, Chris (Bosh), they've proven that over the course of their careers. But LeBron, probably more than anything, settled us. We ran virtually every part of our offense through him one way or another. Either he was handling (the ball), creating a trigger at the elbow, finding open guys."
-- Heat coach Erik Spoelstra on James taking over the game in the fourth quarter.

HOT: James made 13-of-20 shots in another efficient effort. He shot 62.7 percent (37-of-59) in the series.

NOT: Jennings made just 1-of-7 shots and was 9-for-37 (24.3 percent) over the final three games of the series

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: James completed his line with eight rebounds, seven assists and three steals.

INSIDE THE ARENA: Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews and NBA Commissioner David Stern were on hand.

GOOD MOVE: Miami's decision to rest Wade may or may not pay dividends down the road, but it was obvious the Heat could complete the sweep without putting the star guard's sore knee at risk.

BAD MOVE: In his last game before restricted free agency, Jennings posted just three points, one assist, no rebounds and two turnovers in 22 ½ minutes.

NOTABLE: The Heat completed a four-game sweep for the first time in the era of the Big Three of James, Wade and Bosh. ... After reaching a season-high five games over .500 at 24-19 on Jan. 29, the Bucks have gone just 14-29 since. ... Ellis was the only starter to score in double figures for the Bucks, whose starting frontcourt of Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Ersan Ilyasova and Larry Sanders went a combined 8-for-29. ... Miami outrebounded Milwaukee by at least five in all four games of the series. ... Miami will meet the winner of the Chicago-Brooklyn series. Chicago leads that series, 3-1, with Game 5 scheduled for Monday in Brooklyn.

UP NEXT: For the Heat, Round 2 TBA.