ORLANDO, FL - After being down as much as 23 points in the first half, the Milwaukee Bucks stormed their way back to secure the top spot in the Eastern Conference and the best record in the NBA against their kryptonite this season, the shorthanded Miami Heat, 130-116.
The Miami Heat fell short to secure all of their games against the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks this season. The absence of their stars Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic impacted the Heat especially in the late part of the game, CBS Sports reported.
In the opening period, the two teams exchanged baskets, with the 'Greek Freak' making his presence felt early in the game. But the swarming defense of the Heat gave them the early lead after converting the turnover points and made their shots at the rainbow territory.
The Heat continued to play aggressively in the second quarter led by the veteran Andre Igoudala, who forced turnovers to the Bucks and made them pay at the other end of the floor. The lead was extended up to 23 points in the first half courtesy of the Heat's good shooting performance.
But despite the swarming defense set up by the Heat, the Bucks were able to stay close to the game, with the steady performance from Khris Middleton. The Bucks made their final shots at the end of the first half, cutting the lead to just eight points before going to halftime, 64-56.
In a report by ESPN, a different Bucks came back in the second half as they displayed an early good ball movement resulting to made long bombs cutting the deficit and putting the game at the striking distance.
The Heat continued their hot shooting at the third frame of the game courtesy of Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro. However, the 'Greek Freak' took the game at their advantage as they shifted their offense at the painted area forcing points and ones to take the lead at the end of the 3rd quarter.
At the start of the fourth quarter, the Miami Heat tried to set a possible comeback but foul trouble Bam Adebayo cannot force the possible turn around of the game. Heat showed that they were indeed lost with lack of the leadership skills of their veteran guard Goran Dragic and the steady offense coming from the All-Star Jimmy Butler.
When the Milwaukee Bucks found their chance to strike for the kill, they did not miss it and grabbed the opportunity to break away to the game, avoiding the only sweep that they could possibly get this season and securing the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
Only three members of the Milwaukee Bucks are in double-digit, both of the Milwaukee All-Stars finished the game with 33 points apiece, while Brook Lopez left the game with 17 points.
After the game, during an interview, Giannis was asked if what was their biggest challenge into the playoffs, the Greek Freak answered right away that it is their selves.
He confessed that down at the first half of the match they talked about coming out strong in the second half as they just feel that they are not giving their 100% performance.