Bucks 79 - HEAT 97 Game Recap

Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
by Joe Beguiristain
HEAT.com

The Miami HEAT defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 97-79 Sunday afternoon at AmericanAirlines Arena. Goran Dragić led the way for the HEAT with 25 points.

1. Dragić Seals The Deal

With Miami up by double-digits in the fourth quarter, Goran Dragić ensured there would be no comeback for Milwaukee.

Not even close.

The Dragon scored 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting in the final period, including this HEAT check with 4:16 left to play:

Yup, he was feeling it.

In addition to his team-high 25 points on 9-of-17 shooting, Dragić also accumulated three rebounds, two assists and a plus-17 rating.

2. Whiteside Active Throughout

Simply put, Hassan Whiteside was ready to rock from the opening tip. How so?

Well, the 7-footer had four blocks in the first quarter alone, including this impressive one on Giannis Antetokounmpo:

While that was important, Whiteside really made an impact in a fantastic third quarter for the HEAT. Not only did he come up with a heads-up steal and put-back on the other end…

…but he also had this nifty and-one hook shot:

Otherwise, the big fella absorbed a lot of contact inside and led Miami with seven free throw attempts on the afternoon.

When it was all said and done, Whiteside accumulated 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting, a team-high 10 boards, two steals and a plus-13 rating to go along with his aforementioned four blocks.

3. J. Rich Does It All…As Usual

To nobody’s surprise, Josh Richardson continued to mix up his offensive approach with tough mid-range jumpers and catch-and-shoot treys, but his most impressive sequences on Sunday came on the defensive end.

Just take a look at this steal and fantastic pass on the break:

Oh yeah, this block in transition late in the fourth was pretty cool, too:

Richardson ended up with 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting and six boards to go along with his steal and block.

Other Takeaways:

-For the most part, Bam Adebayo really held his own defensively against Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton.

Of course, we were also treated to a BAM SLAM in the fourth.

Also take note of the fantastic pass from Justise Winslow.

In all, Adebayo had six points, a career-high six assists, four rebounds and a plus-nine rating.

-Although James Johnson struggled a bit with his shot, he kept the ball moving as usual and also did quite well defending Antetokounmpo. Johnson led the HEAT with eight assists and also totaled four points, four boards, two steals, two blocks and a plus-15 rating.

Game Note:

-Derrick Walton Jr. (Sioux Falls assignment), Dion Waiters (left ankle sprain), Okaro White (left foot surgery), Rodney McGruder (left tibia surgery) and A.J. Hammons (Sioux Falls assignment) were inactive.

Looking Ahead:

-The HEAT will now head out on a five-game road trip, which starts in Chicago on Monday at 3:30 PM. Miami won’t be in action at AmericanAirlines Arena until Jan. 25 at 7:30 against the Kings. Tickets for that game can be found here.