In the regular-season finale at Fiserv Forum, the Milwaukee Bucks managed to take down the Miami Heat 122-108, with 7 players in double figures. Kendrick Nunn played through a sore calf to score a season-high 31 for Miami in defeat.
Miami elected to sit Jimmy Butler, who has missed all 3 matchups with Milwaukee this season. The Bucks got off to a hot start leading 44-28 after one and built their lead to as large as 24. At the half, they led 70-51 behind very balanced scoring, including a 7/7 start from Brook Lopez.
The Heat improved a bit out of halftime, getting as close as ten at one point, but the Bucks still led 99-81 entering the final quarter. Miami’s defensive effort improved greatly after the first and they shot a scoring 22/49 from three, but Milwaukee held on for a not-entirely-convincing 14-point victory.
Stat That Stood Out
Milwaukee held a 50-34 edge in the paint tonight, highlighting how important the Bucks’ interior defense will be if these two teams do indeed face in the first round. Miami also gives up very few buckets down low, leading the league at 41.1 opponent points in the paint to Milwaukee’s 43.1. Since they continue to pour it in from deep when facing Milwaukee (66 of their 108 points tonight) and the Bucks continue to struggle to defend the perimeter against most foes—even the light-shooting ones like Indiana—Milwaukee cannot afford to have any leaks inside on either end.