The Miami Heat tied a franchise record for the most wins a season with their 61st win Tuesday night as they topped the Milwaukee Bucks 94-83. LeBron James led the way with 28 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists while throwing down one of his best dunks of the year.
Dwayne Wade missed his fifth straight game with an ankle and knee injury, but the Heat still came out on top after a run early in the second half. Chris Bosh also sat out against the Bucks due to flu-like symptoms, missing his second straight game.
Udonis Haslem finished with his first double-double of the season in the Heat’s big win, while Ray Allen and Norris Cole added 11 points apiece off the bench. Chris Anderson also contributed off the bench and attacked the paint, finishing with nine points and nine rebounds.
The Heat took a one point lead into halftime before Brandon Jennings opened up the second half with a jumper that gave the Bucks the lead. The Bucks lead wouldn’t last long as the Heat went on to outscore the Bucks by 13 points throughout the rest of the third quarter.
Miami never gave back the lead and held on for their third straight win and have tied the 1996-97 Heat’s record with 61 wins on the season. The Heat have five games left to break the record, and there’s a good chance it will happen Wednesday night against the Washington Wizards.
LeBron James will surely be a factor against the Wizards and will do his best to put on a show on the road in Washignton, D.C. The reigning MVP is already known for his athletic dunks and “posterizing” anyone who gets in his way.
James was at it again Tuesday and threw an alley-oop to himself off the backboard in the first quarter against the Bucks for one of the best dunks of the year.
Here’s a video of the dunk as the number one highlight in last night’s top 10 plays from NBA.com. You have to wait until the end of the video to see James’ dunk, but it is well worth it:
With one more win or a San Antonio Spurs’ loss, the Heat will clinch home court advantage throughout the entire playoffs including the NBA championship. As the teams stand right now in the East, the Heat will more than likely face the Bucks again in the first round of the playoffs.
The Bucks clinched the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference after beating the Toronto Raptors last Saturday. Milwaukee is only three points behind the Boston Celtics for seventh place, but only have five games left to make a move.
Jumping the Celtics for seventh place is highly unlikely, but it won’t hurt trying as no one wants to face the Heat in the first round. The Bucks beat the Heat 104-85 back in December, but the Heat have since went on a 27-game winning streak and won the final two meetings between the two teams.
The Miami Heat are the overwhelming favorite to repeat as NBA champions this season, and with LeBron James on his way to another MVP it’s hard to see anyone beating them.
Will the Miami Heat cruise into the playoffs and win their second straight NBA title? Can the Milwaukee Bucks make things interesting in the first round if they match-up with the Heat?
[Image via Keith Allison]