Milwaukee was eliminated from the playoffs after Indiana defeated the Washington Wizards. The Pacers game concluded during the Bucks game with the Miami Heat Wednesday night.
The Bucks went into Miami to battle the Heats “big three” trying to hold on to their playoffs hopes. Things started out on the Bucks side even before the game started. The Heat would be without, at least in my opinion the biggest of their big three Dwayne Wade. Wade suffered a thigh injury on Sunday night.
The Bucks started off well for a change in the first quarter. The Bucks led after the first quarter 25-15. The Bucks shot an unreal, at least for the Bucks 52.4 percent in the first quarter.
“King” James scored his first basket, a three pointer till there was 5:28 seconds left in the first half. That shot trimmed the Bucks lead to 37-34. James ran off 8 straight points for Miami to pull them within one. Corey Maggette answered with two free throws and layup for Milwaukee to close out the first half with the Bucks up by 5, 45-40.
John Salmons scored 17, and was the man of the night for Milwaukee, he kept the Bucks ahead for most of the third, but two threes by Mike Bibby and a James three tied up the game at 53-53 with 7:07 left in the third quarter.
The game remained tied through the third quarter, and the teams went into the fourth quarter tied at 63, sending Milwaukee into yet another close game.
Drew Gooden was ejected from the game initially after he was called for a flagrant 2 foul, on a layup attempt by Miami’s Joel Anthony. The play was reviewed by the officials and downgraded to a flagrant 1 foul, and Gooden was allowed to stay in the game. Anthony made the free throws to put Miami up 67-63.
John Salmons continued his good night sinking to straight jumpers, to tie the game back up. Carlos Delfino gave the Bucks the lead back with a jumper 81-79. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (the absolute best name in the NBA for a blogger) put the put the Bucks back up by for with 1:46 left. The Heat cut the lead back to one 83-82, and had the ball with a chance to take the lead, but Heat guard Mike Bibby was called for an offensive foul. Delfino hit another three to put Milwaukee up 86-82, with 24.8 seconds left. The Bucks finished off the Heat the rest of the way to win 90-85.
Although the Bucks were eliminated from the playoffs, this was a huge win. They came in played great defense again and played good team offense. They still shot a lot of jumpers, but at least for this game they went in. A win like this one is a confidents builder going into next season. Yeah this season didn’t exactly go the way Bucks brass and Bucks fans probably intended, but this win shows they can play with anyone.
I think this was a huge loss for Miami as well, even without Wade they had the offensive talent to win this game. The fact that they were not able to win the game when they are trying to catch Boston for the second seed in the playoffs, says a lot about Miami down the stretch.