The Miami Heat jumped all over the Milwaukee Bucks in the second half Thursday night and went on to win Game 3 104-91. LeBron James was pivotal down the stretch once again as the Heat are now in position to close out the Bucks on Sunday afternoon at the Bradley Center.
James finished with 22 points, six assists, and five rebounds before spending most of the fourth quarter resting on the bench. Dwyane Wade couldn’t find a rhythm and went 1-for-12 shooting, but his teammates picked up the slack.
Chris Bosh finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds for a double-double while Chris Anderson pitched in 11 points and six rebounds in just under 14 minutes of game time. Ray Allen was lights out from behind the arc and finished five-for-eight from three-point land with 23 points off the bench.
Allen’s five three-pointers on the night gives him 322 in his playoff career, the most of all-time ahead of Reggie Miller by two. The 13-point win is the Heat’s 10th straight win dating back to the regular season.
Brandon Jennings made it known before the series that he believed his Bucks would take out the defending NBA champions in six games in the first round. Losses in the first two games on the road didn’t change Jennings’ outlook, but a series win in Game 6 is statistically impossible after the Heat held on to win Thursday.
The Bucks jumped out to an early lead after shooting 57 percent from the floor in the first quarter. A string of three-pointers extended the Bucks lead to 10-points, their biggest lead of the series, but the Heat stormed back just before the half.
Allen hit three of his five three-pointers in the last four minutes of the half to cut the Bucks lead to two going into the break. The third quarter was all Miami as Udonis Haslem started a 24-7 run that gave the Heat a 78-68 lead going into the fourth.
The Heat then began pulling away as Ray Allen hit his record-breaking three-pointer with 8:38 to play for a 17-point lead. The Bucks once again struggled to fend off any run the Heat had to offer and will now try to avoid a first-round sweep, much less win the series.
Dwyane Wade struggling shooting in Game 3, but insists he’ll be ready to go on Sunday as the Heat look to finish off the Bucks.
“It’s over now,” Wade said about his performance. “Now we have to focus on closing the series out.”
A quick sweep of the Bucks looks to be in the Heat’s near future as they have yet to play their best basketball and have still managed to win each of the first three games by double-digits.
Will the Miami Heat sweep the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center on Sunday? Can anyone slow down the Heat as they continue their quest for back-to-back NBA Championships?
[Image via Keith Allison]