After a putrid first half, the Bucks fought their way back into the game and took the Heat down to the wire. The final minute featured two dunks and a turnover from Antetokounmpo and six free throw attempts and one big shot from Dwyane Wade with the game ultimately ending in a 107-103 loss for Milwaukee.
The Bucks and Heat went back and forth in the first quarter with the Heat eventually taking a nine point lead with two minutes left. To that point, the Bucks hottest scorer Khris Middleton had yet to score, but Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo carried the load early with seven and six points respectively. Middleton, though, hit five free throws at the end of the quarter to help the Bucks cut the deficit to just five.
Turnovers marred the Bucks' first two possessions of the second quarter and quickly allowed the Heat to run out to a nine point lead. The turnovers kept up with the Bucks eventually tallying eight in the second period, which the Heat used to take a 12 point lead for various parts of the second quarter. Like the first, the Bucks were able to end the second quarter strong and go into halftime leading by only seven. Parker had followed up his strong start with six more points in the second quarter to lead the Bucks with 13 first half points.
In the third quarter, despite being primarily defended by Chris Bosh and Luol Deng, Antetokounmpo took over the game. Time and time again, he demanded the ball and took it right at Heat defenders, eventually scored 13 points and assisted on four more Bucks baskets to account for 21 of the Bucks' 35 points in the quarter.
"When I have a game going, (my teammates) are always looking for me. I felt I could make plays tonight, so that was why I demanded the ball," Antetokounmpo said, after the game.
Antetokounmpo dominated the quarter, but most will remember the quarter's final minute when Rashad Vaughn hit back-to-back threes to give the Bucks a four point lead with the BMO Harris Bradley Center erupting on his second make. After the big shots, the Bucks were a little lazy on defense and allowed Beno Udrih to hit a jumper to pull the Heat within two at 83-81.
The fourth quarter went back and forth, but truly became a game when Parker blocked a Wade floater, which gave the Bucks an opportunity to push the ball up the floor and get Greg Monroe an easy look from point blank range that tied the game at 98 with 3:01 remaining. Deng quickly nailed a three on the next Heat possession and the Bucks failed to answer until Antetokounmpo flew through the lane and threw down a dunk on Bosh to tie the game at 101 with a minute left.
Again, the Heat had answer as Wade hit a step back jumper to give the Heat a two point lead with 44.5 seconds left. The bucks turned to Antetokounmpo on the next possession, which resulted in a steal by Wade. Antetokounmpo fouled with 28.8 seconds left to send Wade to the line with a chance to put the Bucks out of the game with two free throws, but Wade missed one of his free throws to give the Bucks a little hope.
Jason Kidd advanced the ball to the frontcourt with a timeout, but the Bucks could only manage an ugly look from Middleton. They appeared to be looking for a three throughout their 12 second possession, but failed to get a good look. Wade again went to the line and only hit one to keep the Bucks alive. Antetokounmpo swooped in on the next possession for a dunk to cut the lead to 105-103, but Wade finally hit both free throws to finish off the Bucks and give the Heat a 107-103 victory.
- The Bucks were pretty short-handed on the night with John Henson (sore back), O.J. Mayo (hamstring issue), and Johnny O'Bryant (possible child birth) all out for the night.
- No Chris Anderson, Hassan Whiteside or Tyler Johnson for the Heat Friday night.
- Khris Middleton was the last Bucks starter to score Friday night.
- Plumlee was the Bucks' first sub tonight with 6:32 left in the first quarter.
- Tyler Ennis entered the game with 2:30 left in the first quarter.
- Rashad Vaughn played with Ennis and Bayless to start the second quarter.
- For the second straight night, the Bucks picked up a five second violation on a baseline inbounds play.
- Antetokounmpo scored 13 points in the third quarter on 5-for-5 shooting and 3-for-3 shooting from the free throw line.
- Rashad Vaughn hit back-to-back threes near the end of the third quarter. The shots could easily be described as "big."
- This is the second night in a row Antetokounmpo has tried a hook shot floater in the middle of the lane and missed. Both of the shots have had a considerable amount of arc, which is unusual for his normal close finishes.
- There are a lot of times where Parker will grab a rebound and put it on the deck to start the break. I don't mind him doing that, but often times his dribble is passive and either backwards or to the side. It would be nice to see him develop a more powerful dribble straight up the floor.
- This is completely anecdotal, but I think the game might be slowing down for Parker a bit. He has made some very confident passes in the last few weeks that he may have been seeing previously, but definitely not throwing.
- #HotTakeAlert: Carter-Williams' mistakes aren't as Vine-able, but they are so much worse than Brandon Knight's mistakes.
- Dwyane Wade was regularly matched up on Parker tonight and Parker took him to the post multiple times in the first half. It's the first time I can remember Parker actually punishing a smaller player in the post this year. (Feel free to remind me of a different time in the comments.)
- This has bothered me for a while. I have never had a problem yelling at officials. In fact, I quite enjoyed trying to work officials as a player. I just can't comprehend why Monroe continues to yell "AND ONE" and "OH MY GOD" at officials. He doesn't get any calls and there is nothing that shows yelling at the officials has helped him get a single call. You might not get any more calls, but at least try a different strategy. Crack a joke. Make idle conversation.
- It seemed like the Bucks had really made the Heat uncomfortable late in the third and early in the fourth while pushing the tempo. They slowed down halfway through the fourth quarter and seemed to completely kill their own rhythm.
- The Bucks tried to run every action they had to get Middleton open for a three in the final 30 seconds. Dwyane Wade was well aware that the Bucks would likely try to get him open and smothered him defensively. Impressive two-way showing from Wade.