NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, December 29th
(All times Eastern)
Miami Heat (20-7) at Milwaukee Bucks (15-12), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The "Big 3" couldn't win with just two.
After having a six-game winning streak snapped, the Miami Heat hope to find
the win column on Saturday night when Dwyane Wade returns for a road test
against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Wade served a one-game suspension on Friday night for striking Charlotte
Bobcats guard Ramon Sessions in the groin during Wednesday's victory.
Without one of their stars, the Heat were bested 109-99 by the Detroit Pistons
despite 35 points, six rebounds, five assists and six steals from superstar
Chris Bosh added 28 points and nine rebounds for Miami, which led by 15 after
the first quarter but was outscored 41-20 in the second frame, one that
Detroit began with a 14-0 run.
The Heat also allowed a team to crack triple digits in scoring for the first
time in 10 games.
"They played really well and we couldn't get into any kind of defensive
rhythm," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "There are no excuses. Sure, we would
have been a different team with Dwyane, but different guys have to step up."
Miami will play the third contest of a four-game swing that ends on Monday in
Orlando and dropped to 6-5 as the road team this season.
The Bucks have alternated wins and losses over their past seven games, and
handed the Brooklyn Nets a 108-93 loss on Wednesday night.
Brandon Jennings rebounded from a poor effort in a loss to Cleveland to record
25 points and six assists versus Brooklyn in the middle portion of a three-
game homestand. Jennings, who scored just seven points versus the Cavs, is
second on the team with 17.6 ppg.
Monta Ellis scored 20 points and Mike Dunleavy added 17 for the Bucks, who
have won 13 straight games against the New Jersey/Brooklyn franchise. Ersan
Ilyasova finished with 17 points and 11 boards. Milwaukee used a 33-18
advantage in the second quarter to grab some breathing room and received 12
points and 12 rebounds from Larry Sanders.
The Bucks were aided by a 10-of-17 clip from 3-point range and sank 18 of
their 19 foul shots. They also benefited with Nets point guard Deron Williams
on the bench with a balky wrist.
"We were making our shots and making our free throws," Bucks coach Scott
Skiles said. "Sometimes it's as simple as that."
Skiles' squad had been held under 100 points in eight consecutive games and in
15 of the last 16 outings until beating the Nets. After hosting the Heat,
Milwaukee, which is 8-6 at the Bradley Center, will visit Detroit Sunday.
Milwaukee dropped a 113-106 overtime decision at Miami on Nov. 21 this season
as James registered 28 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Jennings paced
Milwaukee with 19 points, seven boards, six assists and five steals.
Miami has won four of its last five at Milwaukee. These two teams will play
twice more this season, with the Bucks playing host again on March 15 and
paying a visit to south Florida April 9.
12/29 10:30:52 ET