Simmons, Bucks Top Shaq-less Heat
Milwaukee 105, Miami 100
MILWAUKEE, Nov. 5 (Ticker) -- Bobby Simmons put the Milwaukee Bucks on his shoulders and finished off the shorthanded Miami Heat.
Simmons had 25 points and eight rebounds and Michael Redd scored 23 points as the unbeaten Milwaukee Bucks used a late surge for a 105-100 victory in their home opener over the Heat, who began life without Shaquille O'Neal.
"It felt great," Simmons said. "I didn't know who was back there. I was just trying to get it to the rim and make a play. They were in foul trouble and I knew that they were in foul trouble so I just tried to get it to the rim. I saw somebody jump, so I was just trying to get it in as quick as possible."
The reigning NBA's Most Improved Player scored 10 points in the last 6:55. His jumper with 2:30 left gave Milwaukee a 94-92 lead, its first since late in the second quarter. The Bucks never trailed again.
"Bobby led us in the fourth quarter. He's a guy that can carry us," Redd said.
With O'Neal, their superstar center, out two to four weeks with a sprained ankle, the Heat used just seven players. Six scored in double figures, led by Dwyane Wade's 21 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.
"There's always adjustments when you play without Shaq," Wade said. "We're still a good ballclub, but we've got to get better as a team."
Mourning started for O'Neal and collected 14 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks. Miami has lost two in a row following a season-opening win.
Maurice Williams scored 16 points off the bench and fellow point guard T.J. Ford added 13 and 11 assists for the Bucks, who missed the playoffs last season but are a league-best 3-0.
"We're still feeling each other out," said Ford, who had his second double-double in as many games. "We're doing well, but we can't get too happy. We still have 79 games left."
The Bucks have won seven of their last eight home openers.