NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, April 2nd
(All times Eastern)
Milwaukee Bucks (14-60) at Miami Heat (51-22), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Miami Heat sit atop the Eastern Conference
standings, albeit fractionally, and will try to keep pace Wednesday night when
they welcome the Milwaukee Bucks to South Beach.
The Heat are narrowly ahead of the Indiana Pacers for the No. 1 seed in the
Eastern Conference playoffs. Miami has all of the momentum now as the Heat
have won three straight and continue a five-game homestand Wednesday night.
With LeBron James' 32 points leading the way, the Heat continued their recent
dominance of the Toronto Raptors with a 93-83 win Monday.
James added eight assists and seven rebounds in the victory -- Miami's 15th
straight over Toronto -- with ex-Raptor Chris Bosh contributing 18 points and
Chris Andersen lending 13 for a Heat team again playing without stars Dwyane
Wade and Ray Allen.
Wade (strained left hamstring) and center Greg Oden (sore back) both missed a
third straight game, while Allen (stomach virus) sat out for a fourth
Aside from a quality win against a division leader, the Heat of course are in
the driver's seat over a struggling Pacers squad. Despite beating Miami last
week, Indiana has dropped three straight and six of its last eight.
"Guys will look at the standings. I look at the standings. We're aware of it.
It's not that we're naive to it. I didn't talk about it," Heat head coach Erik
The Heat have already wrapped up another Southeast Division title. Miami has
six of its last nine at AmericanAirlines Arena.
At the other side of the spectrum are the Bucks, who lost to the Heat in
Milwaukee on Saturday. That followed a rare win for the Bucks, who have
actually dropped two in a row since the big victory over the Lakers.
On Monday, three Detroit Pistons had double-doubles en route to a 116-111
victory over the Bucks at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
Brandon Knight had 25 points, nine rebounds and seven assists and Ramon
Sessions scored 20 points to go with 11 assists for the Bucks, losers in 10 of
their last 11 games.
"We just stopped doing the things that we did for three-and-a-half quarters,"
Milwaukee coach Larry Drew said. "We took some tough shots. We rushed a lot of
quick shots around the basket and missed a lot of easy ones."
The Bucks were nine points clear at the half and ahead by one heading into the
Jeff Adrien scored 16 points, while Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo
both finished with 14. Zaza Pachulia registered a double-double with 12 points
and 13 rebounds.
The Bucks are two games ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers in the race for the
worst record in the NBA. With only eight games left, Milwaukee will be hard to
catch in the battle for the most ping-pong balls at the NBA Draft Lottery.
The Heat have won four straight against the Bucks and three in a row in South
Beach in this series.
04/02 10:23:51 ET