The No. 8 seed Miami Heat were defeated by the No. 1 seed Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday night in a 138-122 loss. The Bucks were able to overcome the absence of Giannis Antetokounmpo to even the first-round playoff series at one.
Milwaukee tied the NBA playoff record with 25 made threes as they were on fire from long range all night. Brook Lopez led the way for them with 25 points. Jrue Holiday added 24 and Pat Connaughton shot 6-of-10 from three-point range, finishing with a playoff career-high 22 points.
The Heat were without Tyler Herro, who is out for the rest of the playoffs after he broke his hand in Game 1 of the series. Jimmy Butler had a team-high 25 points on 8-of-12 shooting and 7-of-10 from the free-throw line. Five others scored in double figures for Miami, including Bam Adebayo, who finished with 18.
Series heading to Miami tied 1-1 pic.twitter.com/X5m54I8X2a
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) April 20, 2023
Bucks Dominate First Half
Just over a minute into the game, shooting guard Max Strus connected on a three-pointer to put the Heat up 5-2. This was the first and last time Miami would lead in this game.
Lopez scored eight of the first 13 points for Milwaukee as he converted an alley-oop layup from Khris Middleton to reclaim the lead. Fourteen of Lopez’s 25 came in the first quarter, including a last-second buzzer-beater to give the Bucks a 35-28 lead going into the second.
With 7:37 to play in the quarter, Adebayo made a mid-range jumper on an assist from Kyle Lowry. This finished off a spurt of six straight from Miami’s big man and cut the Bucks’ lead down to 10 at 51-41.
In the next four and a half minutes, Milwaukee went on a 24-2 run. This was capped off by two made baskets from beyond the arc from Joe Ingles as the Bucks blew the doors off and led by 32.
After a bucket from Gabe Vincent with two seconds left in the half, Miami was down 81-55. The Bucks outscored the Heat 46-27 in the quarter open up a huge advantage. The 81 points scored by Milwaukee set a new franchise best for a first half of a playoff game.
Heat Can’t Overcome Deficit
Miami began the second half well. They scored the first seven points, including a three-pointer from the top of the key from Vincent. He finished with 16 points on 4-of-9 shooting from downtown. This run cut the Bucks’ lead to 19.
With 8:11 to play in the third, Butler drained a three from the corner that made the score 90-71.
After that bucket, it was all Milwaukee the rest of the quarter. They scored eight straight, thanks to two long-range baskets from Grayson Allen, who made four threes in the game. Then, after an Adebayo dunk, the Bucks scored the next nine points. This ended a 17-2 run as they blew their lead back up to 34.
Heading into the final quarter, Milwaukee was up 118-85.
Both teams emptied their benches in the fourth. After a Lopez jumper a minute into the quarter, Miami went on a 14-2 run that cut the lead down to 21.
Miami took advantage of a Bucks team that was cruising to victory as the Heat outscored Milwaukee 37-20 in the fourth quarter to make the final score look more respectable. The game ended 138-122.
Off to Miami
After Wednesday night’s loss, Miami will head home for Game 3 on Saturday and Game 4 on Monday against Milwaukee. With the possibility of Antetokounmpo coming back next game, the Heat will need to dig deep and make the most of the home court advantage if they want to stay in this series. Saturday’s game tips off at 7:30 p.m. from the Kaseya Center on ESPN.