MIAMI — The Milwaukee Bucks capped off a four-game week-long road trip with a score of 2-2 after losing 111-95 to the Miami Heat on Saturday afternoon. Both losses came without Miami’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, and the teams capped it with a 27-16 record. This was the third consecutive victory for T (24-20).
Gabe Vincent and Victor Oladipo proved to be teams for Miami
Playing with their depleted roster, the Heat turned to backup guard Gabe Vincent for his offense in two games against the Bucks and the 26-year-old did not disappoint. Vincent, who started both games (his third and only fourth starts of the season) scored a career-high 28 points Thursday on 10 of 17 shots, including 5 of 11 from behind the three-point line.
He almost topped that on Saturday, however, as he started the game 8-for-9 overall and 5-for-6 from deep to score 21 points in his first 16 minutes. That included an impressive 10-point streak in the second quarter that extended Miami’s eight-point lead to 15.
square score: heat 111, pax 95
Then in the second half, Victor Oladipo took the scoring baton. He scored seven straight points early in the fourth quarter, then he and Vincent converted Jrue Holiday on three consecutive possessions, leading the Heat to throw and free throws for a 97-79 lead to effectively clinch the game.
The play from guards allowed Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo not to take the offensive load for the game against the Heat, who played just eight men for the second straight game.
Vincent finished with 27 points on 11 of 14 shooting while Oladipo scored 20 points.
Butler finished the game with 16 points in 27 minutes and Adebayo scored 20 points and 13 rebounds in 31 minutes.
The Heat comes with plays just in time to stop the Bucks
Miami led by as many as 15 points in the first half, but the Bucks narrowed that margin to 61-60 midway through the third quarter with straight triples from Brook Lopez and Pat Connaughton. But from there Miami went ahead 11-3 to take a 72-63 lead.
After that, the Heat managed to play games in the nick of time, as Orlando Robinson scored on consecutive offensive rebounds and Haywood Highsmith hit a three-pointer late in the shot clock to give their team a 77-71 lead going into the fourth quarter.
They proved to be key moments, as that was the last time for Milwaukee.
Giannis misses the second game in a row due to a sore knee
In eight games spanning from December 19 to January 4, Antetokounmpo played 37.6 minutes per game and averaged 39.1 points, 14.9 rebounds and 5.5 assists, a streak that included four 40-point games along with a career high 55 points. He finished the stretch with a 30-21-10 triple-double in Toronto.
But in the four games since the Raptors won, he averaged just 17 points on just 36% shooting, 13.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists. His only two single-digit games of the season occurred against Charlotte on January 6 and in Atlanta on January 11.
He was suspended for two games in Miami on Friday and Sunday due to soreness in his left knee, the first time he’s missed consecutive games since the knee flared in early November.
“He got some therapy late in the evening (Friday) and a couple of things where he wasn’t in a position where he could play,” Bucks coach Mike Bodenholzer said before the game.
“We don’t think it’s more than what we’ve always kind of been running and working with him and his body. It’s unfortunate, but I don’t think it’s anything different from what we’ve always done.”
Antetokounmo has missed eight matches this season.
2 Direct dollar losses. It’s only the third time this season they’ve lost consecutive games.
5 Field goals and revenue for the holiday. The star guard struggled with his shooting all the time (5-for-14), and the Heat handed him a winning streak early in the quarter. Holiday finished with his ninth double-double assist points of the season, with 12 and 10, respectively.
5-3 Bucks scored without Antetokounmpo.
8-16 Three-pointers made and attempted for Bucks rookie AJ Green in the two games in Miami.
29 Total offensive rebound points (13) and bucks (10) for the Heat.
Playing the game is Jamal Cain’s offensive rebound in the fourth quarter
It looked harmless for the time being, as Heat backup guard Jamal Kabil flew under the Bucks defense to collect a missed jumper by Adebayo and put it back inside. But it gave the Heat a 79-71 lead early in the fourth quarter and 13 points on 11 offensive rebounds. It also preceded a series of seven points by Oladipo that helped put the Heat’s lead back into double digits at 89-79. The Heat’s second effort on the offensive glass was key throughout the two-game miniseries.
The game video is Gabe Vincent’s hot start
The Bucks did a good job getting stars Heat Butler and Adebayo to work for their shots and points, but Vincent helped make up for those issues with a hot shooting start that gave the Heat an early double-digit lead. Keep up the effort the whole time.
Dollar injury report
- Giannis Antitekounmo (left knee ache), OUT
- Khris Middleton (right knee ache), OUT
Middleton responded well to five-on-five practice with members of the Bucks and Wisconsin Herd while in Miami, and the Bucks returned home for a week that included three days off.
“In general, we definitely try to push and get the right amount of five-on-five exposures and push the envelope with him as he plays, whether it’s the playgroups with us or the herd,” said Budenholzer. “And all of that will lead to him playing in the end and he’ll do it when he’s ready.”
- Serge Ibaka (personal), out.
Budenholzer said he did not expect Ibaka to be on the team for Monday afternoon’s game against Indiana.
Who does Pax play next?
Milwaukee heads home to take on Indiana at 1:30 p.m. Monday at the Fiserv Forum as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Show. Day in the league. The Pacers have been a surprise team in the Eastern Conference this season due to all-star-caliber play from Oshkosh native Terese Haliburton, but Haliburton was injured last week. Benedict Mathurin is a rookie of the year, and veterans Buddy Held and Miles Turner have played well.