NBA: Bucks overcome slow start to beat Heat


Posted at Mar 16 2019 02:02 PM

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) is fouled by Miami Heat guard Josh Richardson (0) during the second half of their match at American Airlines Arena. Steve Mitchell, USA TODAY Sports via Reuters

The Milwaukee Bucks overcame a 23-point first-quarter deficit to rally past host Miami Heat 113-98 on Friday night.

Giannis Antetokounmpo tallied 33 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists, giving him his 49th double-double. Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe had 21 and 17 points, respectively for the Bucks, who top the NBA with 52 wins, including 25 on the road.

The Bucks outscored the Heat 71-36 in the second half to seize control of the game, and Milwaukee won its league-best 16th game when trailing by more than 10 points in a game this season.

Justise Winslow scored 20 -- all in the first half -- and Hassan Whiteside had 14. Josh Richardson scored 11, while Dwyane Wade, Bam Adebayo and Dion Waiters each had 10 for the Heat, who have won six of their past nine.

The loss left Miami just one game ahead of the Orlando Magic and Charlotte Hornets for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The early pace seemingly would have favored the Bucks, the NBA's second-highest scoring team at 117.6 points per game, but Miami made 8 of its first 11 shots to grab a 20-8 edge at the 6:45 mark. 

Winslow's second 3-pointer and Adebayo's short jumper made it 25-8 with 4:44 left.

A slick layup by Wade, who was a game-time decision to play despite an elbow injury, Winslow's third trey and Goran Dragic's tricky layup helped propel the Heat to a 37-19 lead after one quarter.

Middleton helped the Bucks cut the lead to 49-36 midway through the second, and Antetokounmpo chipped in as well as the duo combined for 26 points in the half.

However, defensive pressure sent the Heat on a 10-2 run, and Winslow's 20 points marked the best half of his four-year career as Miami led 62-42 at halftime -- the Bucks' largest deficit at the break this season.

Milwaukee starting point guard Malcolm Brogdon (right heel soreness) played just six minutes and did not return.

Middleton and Ersan Ilyasova stepped up their game as the Bucks outscored Miami 37-18 in the third quarter to trim the deficit to 80-79, and both Winslow and Wade had lengthy stints in the Heat locker room.

The Bucks gained control in the fourth quarter as the Heat struggled to find offense, outscoring Miami 34-18.

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