Wed. Final: Heat 102, Bucks 99
By Todd Welter
Next game: Friday, January 16 at Sacramento
Dwyane Wade was held in check yet the Miami Heat still left the Bradley Center with a 102-99 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. The Heat can thank Daequan Cook's career night and Michael Beasley scoring at will for the win.
Those two came off the bench to pick up the slack as Cook scored a career-high 24 points. Beasley added 21 points as he went 8-11 from the field.
"That's what it's all about, finding another way," Wade said. "My teammates did a great job of shooting the ball tonight. This was a team win."
"We did a respectable job on him again," Bucks head coach Scott Skiles said. "We were so slow to recover to the other guys and slow to recognize that they had a guy that was making multiple threes out there."
Cook would be that guy making multiple threes as he was 6-8 from beyond the arc.
"Everybody knows he's a shooter. We've done this a little bit in the last couple of weeks. Not a lot, but a little bit where we just kind of check out of a game for a period of time and then try to check back in and it's tough to beat decent teams," Skiles added.
The Bucks defense checked out most of the night as the Heat shot 48% from the field and 53% from three. Udonis Haslem and Shawn Marion both were in double figures with 18 and 14 points respectively.
Milwaukee was not so bad scoring the basketball either, shooting at a 49% clip. Luke Ridnour led the Bucks with a season-high 25 points.
Milwaukee was down seven entering the fourth quarter and the Heat got ahead by 10 with 10:52 left. The Bucks charged back and pulled to within two on Michael Redd's short little jumper with 1:26 left. The Bucks had three chances to tie the game but came up bust every time.
Richard Jefferson blew the first chance when he threw the ball away with 51 seconds left. Jefferson got another chance to tie the game but Marion swatted away Jefferson's layup attempt with 22 seconds left. The Bucks got one last gasp in the final seconds but Joe Alexander air balled a three-point attempt.
"We just couldn't get the stops when we needed them and then we just couldn't execute well enough," Ridnour thought. "It's not one quarter, it's not one play, it's the whole game. We just didn't come with enough energy tonight."
The Bucks were down by as much as 11 halfway through the second quarter. Milwaukee closed out the half with a 16-5 run to go into the break tied at 55.
The Bucks are 6-6 over the last twelve games alternating wins and losses during that stretch-failing every time to get to within a game under 500.
"We'll be there," Jefferson said on the chances of getting over .500. "We're not playing as well as we would've like especially over the last ten or so games but we will be fine."
Milwaukee is now 19-22 on the year and head out for a three game west coast road trip. The trip kicks off Friday against Sacramento.
The Bucks had four other players put up double figure points. Redd finished with 16 points, Jefferson had 15 points, Alexander scored 13 off the bench and Andrew Bogut had 12 points...Charlie Bell missed his second straight game with right ankle soreness...The Bucks snapped the Heat's 16 consecutive quarters with a dunk streak. Miami failed to get a dunk in the third quarter.