Heat win 21st straight, beat Bucks 107-94
MILWAUKEE – LeBron James and Chris Bosh each scored 28 points, and the Miami Heat made it 21 straight wins, beating the Milwaukee Bucks 107-94 on Friday night.
Only three other teams have won 20 in a row in one season, and the Heat now trail just the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers (33) and the 2007-08 Houston Rockets (22) after moving ahead of the 1970-71 Bucks.
They withstood an early scare when Dwyane Wade walked to the locker room with a neck strain after crashing to the court. Miami led by as much as 17 in the third quarter, then withstood a push by the Bucks to remain unbeaten since a loss at Indiana on Feb. 1.
Miami next plays Sunday at Toronto, where the winning streak began on Feb. 3.
Bosh hit from all angles and was 12 of 16 in the game, nailing two 3-pointers. He even converted a four-point play that made it 67-53 about five minutes into the third quarter.
James was his usual dominant self, and Wade finished with 20 points as the Heat avenged a loss at Milwaukee in late December.
Ersan Ilyasova led Milwaukee with 26 points and a season-high 17 rebounds. Brandon Jennings scored 21 but was 6 of 15 from the field, and the Bucks shot just over 37 percent. Monta Ellis struggled, finishing with seven points after scoring 26 in the previous game at Washington, and the Bucks dropped their third straight.
Larry Sanders got ejected for the second straight game with 2:44 left after he was called for a foul against James and picked up two technicals.
Despite all those issues, the Bucks cut the lead to 85-79 with 8:53 remaining when J.J. Redick nailed a 3 and Ilyasova hit a free throw after Shane Battier got called for a loose ball foul. Battier then answered with a 3 and Bosh hit a runner to get the lead back up to 11 after Ilyasova’s 3-pointer rimmed out.
The Heat got a major score when Wade crashed to the court after Sanders blocked his layup.
He took a shot to the head from Sanders’ hip on the follow through and landed hard. Wade stayed down as play went the other way and was tended to for about two minutes underneath the basket after the game was stopped with 7:17 left in the first period.
Wade walked to the locker room and came back out early in the second. He re-entered the game with 7:45 left in the half and quickly hit two free throws and a layup.
James scored 17 in the first half, Bosh added 13 points and the Heat shot just under 54 percent on the way to a 51-42 halftime lead.
James was dominant as usual, throwing down a hard dunk off a spin move late in the first quarter and driving for a one-handed reverse jam along the baseline early in the second. He also nailed several turnaround jumpers even though Marquis Daniels was all over him.
Notes: Milwaukee did not attempt a free throw in the first half but wound up hitting 19 of 21 in the game. … The Bucks had Daniels start at small forward, hoping he could disrupt James. ”He’s played against LeBron before and really, I don’t have a lot of options,” coach Jim Boylan said.
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