LeBron James and the Miami Heat couldn’t live with getting swept by the 12-16 Milwaukee Bucks in the three game seasons, and they handled a team that has given them too many problems already this season very well in their third and final meeting in the regular season, beating the Bucks 114-96.
James and Dwyane Wade combined for 57 points, while Chris Bosh hardly had to get involved. He finished with 8 points, but took only 8 shots as it seemed everyone was moving aside to let LeBron, who was in full attack mode all night (before taking a long rest in the fourth quarter), do most of the job with a few more dunks to throw in his fat highlight album.
The Bucks managed to slow down the Heat in the previous games, holding Miami to 89.5 points and taking over in the fourth quarters. This time, there was nothing to play for in the fourth as the Heat just upped their physicality and aggression from the first minute. The fast pace (30-27 first quarter) was not something the Bucks could live with and win.
Above all, it was James’ night. He wasn’t looking to pass, but just carve through a surprisingly soft Milwaukee defense, that seemed to give up too early on actually trying to stop James every time he drove through the paint for a loud dunk. The numbers plainly show James just had an easy night, finishing with 16-21 from the field, and not taking a single three pointer. There was no need. There was no need to dish out assists, finishing with only 3 as well.
The Heat have been relentless and merciless during their current road trip, winning their last three games by an average of more than 18 points a night. It’s not surprising when you talk about the Wizards getting easily beaten, but the Bucks and the Hawks were suppose to put up more of a fight.
The Heat are now 0.5 games behind the Chicago Bulls, with the Bulls worried about Derrick Rose’s back. It looks like it’ll be fine eventually, but right now the Bulls are a vulnerable team without their star player. If ever was a chance for the Heat to make a push and claim the top spot in the East, it’s now. With James playing like he is, with the entire team following his lead in intensity and physicality, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t.