The Miami Heat claimed a dominant 130-117 Game 1 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, despite the absence of Giannis Antetokounmpo, who left the game early with a lower back contusion. Jimmy Butler was the star performer for Miami, scoring 35 points, while Bam Adebayo contributed 22 points. The Heat had played just two days prior to their game against the Bucks, having secured their place in the playoffs with a win over Chicago in a play-in elimination game. Tyler Herro was forced to leave the game early due to a broken right hand, while Kevin Love, Caleb Martin, and Gabe Vincent each added 15 points. Although the Bucks clearly missed Antetokounmpo’s scoring, the Heat had already set the tone of the game before he was sidelined.
Milwaukee was led by Khris Middleton who scored 33 points, followed by Bobby Portis Jr. with 21 points, Jrue Holiday who contributed with 16 points and 16 assists, Grayson Allen who scored 12 points, and Brook Lopez with 10 points. Game 2 will take place on Wednesday night in Milwaukee. Despite trailing by 13 points at halftime, the Bucks managed to reduce the deficit to 78-75 in the third quarter with an 11-0 run. However, Adebayo and Martin’s three-point plays, Love’s two 3-pointers, and Duncan Robinson’s late trey helped Miami score 24 points in the final 4:49 and extend their lead to 102-88 by the end of the third quarter. Milwaukee attempted to reduce the gap by coming within eight points five times in the fourth quarter but was unable to get any closer.
Miami started strong with a 33-24 lead at the end of the first quarter, and Butler scored 14 points to contribute to their lead.
Middleton contributed 10 points, while Portis added six, and the Bucks were able to narrow the gap to 43-42. However, the Heat retaliated with a 7-point run and extended their lead to 55-44, thanks to a 3-pointer from Love. Butler and Vincent each scored four more points, pushing Miami’s lead to 68-55 at halftime. In the closing minutes of the first half, Herro made a diving attempt for a loose ball but was unable to grab it before his opponent. While sliding past the ball, Herro hit his hand hard on the court. Despite being in visible pain, he remained in the game and even attempted to shoot before being subbed out. Later, it was revealed that he had broken his hand, as announced by the Heat.
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