Giannis sat this one out due to a sore left knee. His absence was felt.
The Bucks started off by doing a nice job containing Gabe Vincent at the rim. Maybe they should have let him have a little success there though, because the next thing they knew, the Heat had built a lead behind three Vincent triples. Lackadaisical offensive rebounding was partially mollified by Brook’s blocks and Jingles’ verve as the Bucks trailed 28-20 after one.
The power lineup to start the second - Jevon, Mamu, AJ, Bobby, and Jingles - didn’t do markedly worse than other lineups, but the classic combination of the Bucks missing shots (due in part to the Heat’s zone) and their opponents making them (two more threes from guess who...) put the Bucks in a double-digit hole for most of the second period. But slightly better play on both ends of the floor, particularly from Grayson Allen, brought the Bucks back to the same deficit as the beginning of the quarter, with the Heat leading 53-45 at the break.
Jimmy Butler called his own number to start the third, taking the ball out of Vincent’s hand. That worked out well for the Bucks, and a few Jrue Jrives brought the Bucks to within one. The lead yo-yo’ed between low and high single-digits for the rest of the quarter as Vincent remained quiet, closing 77-71 in favor of the Heat.
In what has been an unfortunate pattern as of late, the fourth quarter got out of control quickly, with the lead ballooning to double digits. Scoring dried up as Victor Oladipo, Bam Adebayo, and their connection heated up. The bench squad came in with several minutes remaining with the lead up to 20, and this one closed 111-95.
Stat That Stood Out
The Bucks finished the game with only 10 turnovers. Although a number of them came late as the Heat surged to victory, this represents a nice departure from the recent trend of coughing up the ball.
And yet... I also wonder if the fewer turnovers are related to fewer looks at the rim. It’s harder to turn the ball over when you’re just passing it around the zone on the perimeter. In contrast, the Heat spent a lot of the time at the rim, and even when they missed, they feasted on second-chance points. I don’t want to complain about what is usually a good thing, but it’s interesting to consider turnovers as not necessarily bad.