HEAT Bounce Back, Beat Bucks 119-108

Goran Dragić
Photo Credit: David Alvarez
by Joe Beguiristain
HEAT.com

What a difference a day makes.

After losing to the Bucks by 47 points on Tuesday, the HEAT made amends and got back to their identity in a 119-108 victory over Milwaukee Wednesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena.

What’s more, Miami came back from a 14-point deficit in the third quarter and went on a 31-8 run to seize control.

Let’s get right to it.

1. Goran Stays Hot

Although Goran Dragić was a one-man wrecking crew in transition through the first three quarters, his biggest contribution came in the fourth.

In fact, he helped ignite the HEAT’s run thanks to a game-high nine points in the final period on treys much like this:

You already know he was breathing fire.

In all, Dragić tallied a game-high 26 points (tied with Giannis Antetokounmpo) on 9-of-17 shooting, including 4-of-7 from deep, five boards, two assists and a plus-14 rating.

2. Bam Does It All…As Usual

So…Bam Adebayo kicked off his scoring with a pull-up jumper and never looked back.

From there, he did it all, as he came through with more jumpers, screen assists, dribble handoffs, pinpoint feeds, attacks to the basket and fantastic defense.

Perhaps nothing touches this sequence in the second quarter where he hit a jumper over Bobby Portis and then took Antetokounmpo off the dribble the next time down:

Speaking of the Greek Freak, Adebayo defended the reigning MVP quite well throughout the contest.

That’s impressive.

When it was all said and done, the former Kentucky Wildcat amassed 22 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field and 8-of-10 from the stripe, a game-high 10 assists (tied with Antetokounmpo), eight rebounds, a game-high two blocks, one steal and a plus-11 rating.

3. Avery Strong On Both Ends

In his first start since March 10, Avery Bradley showed out in more ways than one.

For starters, he made life miserable for Khris Middleton and helped hold the two-time All-Star to just 3-of-15 shooting.

No surprise there.

But on the offensive end, Bradley knocked down treys, ran the floor on the break and cut to the basket with purpose.

Take a look at how he loses Donte DiVincenzo on this backdoor cut and finish midway through the fourth:

That’s a veteran move if I’ve ever seen one.

Bradley finished with 16 points (nine in the third) on 6-of-11 shooting, two rebounds and a steal.

Other Takeaways:

-Once again, Tyler Herro kept the Bucks guessing with a steady attack off the bounce.

And it all came together in a 13-point third quarter where he hit these two crazy shots to close the period out:

Yup, he’s a bucket.

That wasn’t all, though, as Herro also crashed the glass and grabbed a career and game-high 15 boards en route to his second-career double-double.

In addition to those 15 rebounds, Boy Wonder also had 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting, four assists and a plus-10 rating.

-Like Dragić, Kelly Olynyk provided a major spark off the bench and mixed up his approach with treys and finishes inside.

That said, this big offensive rebound early in the fourth was the definition of a winning play:

Olynyk ended up with 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting, eight rebounds, four assists, one block and a game-high plus-16 rating.

-Kendrick Nunn did this:

The bench’s reaction says it all.

Nunn concluded with three points, one assist and that steal above.

Game Note:

-Jimmy Butler (right ankle sprain) and Max Strus (G League - two-way) were inactive.

Looking Ahead:

-The HEAT will head to Dallas to face the Mavs on New Year’s Day at 7PM. You can catch all the action on FOX Sports Sun and 790 The Ticket.

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