The Miami Heat go on to win another one Thursday night against the Milwaukee Bucks, to take a further 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference first-round series with another convincing 104-91 win. Miami used yet another time their roster depth, going for a couple of runs throughout the game to close out the game in the 3rd quarter, and probably the series too, since the Bucks now need what seems to be a miracle to make a comeback.
Lebron James was the top performer for the Heat, scoring 22 points along with 5 rebounds and 6 assists, but it was Ray Allen’s night, as he scored 22 points with five 3-pointers, to set a record for most three-point shots made in the post season with 322 and counting, two more than Reggie Miller.
Chris Bosh contributed 16 points and 14 rebounds for the Heat and Chris Andersen had another big game with 11 points in 14 minutes. Dwyane Wade had just 4 points with 1-12 shooting, but almost scored a double-double with 11 assists and 9 rebounds, along with two blocks and five steals. "I shot the ball terrible," Wade said with a laugh. "But we played a good game. Game 3 is a tough game. I thought, as a team, we showed a lot of guts, a lot of grit. When those guys came out hot, we stayed with it, we stayed with our game plan and were able to get a great win. There's nothing as satisfying as winning a Game 3 on the road. But it's over now. Now we have to focus on closing the series out."
Brandon Jennings and Larry Sanders both had 16 points for the Bucks, who made a strong start in the game to score 30 points in the first quarter, leading the Heat 30-21. Six bucks players had double figures in scoring, and sanders added 11 rebounds while Jennings had eight assists. Milwaukee got to a 10-point lead in the first quarter, shooting 57 per-cent, but couldn’t maintain it as the minutes went by, ending up shooting just 41 per-cent in the last three quarters of the game and making only two more threes.
Milwaukee led for most of the game, trying to pull away early in the 3rd quarter where they put together a 7-0 run to take a 61-55 lead, with 7:14 left to play. But this is where the Heat started to retaliate, making yet another run that would eventually prove to be enough to close the game out.
Miami went off to what would become a 23-7 run to close the quarter. Haslem and Chalmers both made a layup, then Mbah a Moute scored to make it 67-66 but James answered with a monster 3-pointer. In the minutes that followed, James and Andersen scored two baskets apiece with Milwaukee not being able to answer.
"A three-, four-minute stretch just like in the first two games, where they kind of blitzed us," Bucks coach Jim Boylan said. "We dug ourselves a big hole that we could not come back from."
It is remarkable how the Heat always find ways to make their game run and have effectiveness offensively. Their bench depth has been invaluable this season, as many bench players have contributed huge both defensively and offensively to help the defending champions set franchise and NBA records. This time it was Ray Allen off the bench to carry the Heat to their 40th victory in their last 42 games.
Now the Heat have a chance to wrap it up Sunday on Game 4 in Milwaukee and get a few more days of rest, while the Bucks’ only hope is not to get swept.