A day after St. Patrick's Day, the Heat found their pot of gold in the same place countless people from all over the world have found their good fortunes this year: a fourth quarter against the Bucks. The Bucks won the first three quarters before allowing 42 fourth-quarter points to the Heat and fell 112-106, extending their season-worst losing streak to six games.
- Michael Ruffin. Ruffin had his best game of the year tonight... in the first half alone. He put up this ridiculous first half stat line: Eight points on 3-4 shooting, 12 rebounds including six offensive, two assists, three steals, and one block. He didn't stop there either, tying his career high with 14 points along with 16 rebounds, three steals, and two blocks in the game.
- Michael Redd. Redd poured in 18 first half points and finished with 27 on just 14 shots from the field. He scored efficiently thanks to four three pointers and 11 free throws.
- Mo Williams. Williams finished strongly with a couple of and-one, three point plays late but even a pair of four-point plays ultimately wouldn't have been enough. Williams put up 20 points along with 11 assists and only two turnovers. His defense didn't exactly bother anyone on the perimeter though.
- 42. The Heat scored 42 points in the fourth quarter, only two less than the 44 points they scored in the first half. The Heat came into the game as the 28th ranked efficient offensive team in the NBA.
- 9. The Bucks turned the ball over just nine times, but still managed to blow a 14-point lead and witness the Heat cruise to victory in the fourth quarter.
- 60. As in, +60, the net differential rating of the Heat bench. The Bucks' bench net differential was -37.
- Mo Passes. For a guy who hadn’t hit double digit assists in a game in two and a half months, Mo Williams sure had the distinct look of a distributor in the first quarter against a slowly reacting Heat defense. He set up a glut of dunks in the first period including a couple to Dan Gadzuric and Desmond Mason. He also picked up a hockey assist on a Michael Ruffin dunk. Williams finished with 11 assists, but the Heat were the ones who put on a passing show in the end, finishing with 33 assists on 40 field goals.
- Ruffin. In the second quarter, John McGlocklin noted to broadcast partner, Jim Paschke, "(Mark) Blount seems to enjoy the perimeter, Jim." In that particularly instance he meant it in a complimentary way, as the Heat starting center had just comfortably made another long two-point shot. However, the Heat’s speedy and dramatic fall from grace has a lot to do with their transition from rocks in the post like Shaquille O’Neal and Alonzo Mourning to players like Blount. Without Andew Bogut, it was Michael Ruffin who dominated the paint tonight. He earned each of his 16 first-half minutes off the bench, piling up an incredible six offensive, and 12 total rebounds. With the Bucks clearly more talented but typically refusing to put the Heat away early, Ruffin's energy stood out.
- Quiet New Star. Shawn Marion didn't dominate tonight, as the opponent's only above average player in uniform netted just eight points and turned the ball over five times. Somehow though, they quite literally let everyone (people like Chris Quinn, Bobby Jones, and Jason Williams) else beat them.
- E-Gad. Dan Gadzuric attempting a fadeaway, which grazed off the lower portion of the far side of the backboard is not the stuff season highlight reels are made of. The Bucks were up 60-47 before that shot. They were outscored 65-46 after.
- 4th. Our preview cited an interesting JS article that revealed the Bucks had held a fourth quarter lead in 17 of their 43 losses coming into the Heat game. The Bucks celebrated this by blowing another fourth quarter lead. They entered tonight’s final 12 minutes up by seven points, but were held without a point for nearly four minutes to start the fourth quarter. Still, the Bucks' fourth quarter defense ever-so-slightly edged the offense with respect to ineptitude in the only real competition down the stretch.
- Missing In Action. Remember Bobby Simmons? And Yi Jianlian? Or even Royal Ivey? The trio has combined to start 90 games this year, so they should be familiar. And yet none of them had any impact whatsoever tonight. Simmons represented the fullest extent of nothingness, curiously sitting glued to the bench, racking up another DNP-CD on a night when the Bucks were missing Andrew Bogut, and Yi and Ivey were virtually invisible.