Bucks stay with Heat until late

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Associated Press
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
— Throughout their sizzling turnaround of the past few weeks, the Miami Heat have made the game look absolutely easy at times.

This one was different.

And that thrilled Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.

Dwyane Wade scored 34 points, LeBron James added 25 points and nine assists, and the Heat pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat the Milwaukee Bucks, 101-89, on Tuesday night for their 19th win in 20 games. An 18-6 run over an 8-minute span got the late-game push going, and

a 13-0 late burst sealed it for Miami.

“The players probably enjoyed some other games more,” Spoelstra said. “But I think this was an important game. That’s a very physical team. They’re a very good defensive team. A lot of times when you play against them, it’s a grind-out game, and we had to play a different kind of game tonight, have some mental toughness and resiliency when things weren’t necessarily going our way.”

Chris Bosh finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Heat, who trailed most of the third quarter before getting rolling. It was Miami’s final home game for two weeks; the Heat will put their 11-game road winning streak on the line when they visit Milwaukee on Friday.

John Salmons scored 18 points for Milwaukee, which got 16 points from Andrew Bogut and 14 from former Heat guard Keyon Dooling. The Bucks were outrebounded, 47-34.

“When we were trying to keep contact with them in the second half it got away from us,” Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. “We had a couple of missed layups, a couple of open jumpers. They took control of the game and we weren’t able to get back into it.”

Skiles got his second technical while trying to get a referee’s attention to argue what he thought was a shot-clock violation on Miami and appeared to accidentally collide with Miami’s Carlos Arroyo. Because it was not considered unsportsmanlike, Skiles was not ejected. But the damage was done: James Jones made a three-pointer 10 seconds after the call, the first salvo in Miami’s closing burst.

Something about playing good teams on the road has brought out the best in the Bucks so far this season, a trend that continued at Miami.

Milwaukee came into the game only 5-11 away from home, the 19th-best road mark in the 30-team NBA. But some of the wins—over the Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas and Atlanta, for example—and even an overtime loss in Boston in early November have suggested the Bucks are capable of more.

It’s a lesson the Heat learned in this one.

“We’re going to have to win games in a lot of different ways,” Bosh said. “Good teams find a way to win.”

Last updated: 4:10 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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