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NBA -- Middleton 3 caps Bucks stunning defeat of the Heat


PhilBoxing.com




MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Bucks pulled a miraculous comeback on Tuesday night to end their six-game losing streak at the expense of the Miami Heat.

Down 85-71 in the final 6:33 of play, the Bucks unleashed a 14-0 run to tie the score at 85-85 and set the stage for the thrilling finish in front of 12,313 fans at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

When Dwyane Wade missed the second of two free throws that could have given the Heat a four-point lead with 17 seconds to go, it opened a small window that the Bucks took full advantage of.

After Ersan Ilyasova split his free throws with 12 seconds to play, Bucks guard Jerryd Bayless forced a jump ball with the Heat's Michael Beasley. The 6-foot-3 Bayless somehow won the tip against the 6-foot-9 Beasley.

After recovering the ball, Bayless drove to the hoop and missed. But Zaza Pachulia grabbed the offensive rebound and tossed it in the waiting arms of Khris Middleton who made the game-winning 3 as time expired.

"Sometimes momentum turns in a game like that. Things start to avalanche from there. You need to show great collective toughness and stability to play through that and we weren't able to do that tonight," Heat head coach Erik Speolstra told reporters after the heartbreaking loss.

Five Bucks scored in double figures with Ilyasove logging 19. Giannis Anteteokounmpo had 16 and 10 rebounds while Pachulia added 14 and 11 boards. Middleton, the hero, drilled 13 and Bayless chipped in 10.

Wade submitted 21 for the Heat while Goran Dragic had 16 and 6 assists. Mario Chalmers tallied 14 off the bench and Luol Deng contributed 13.

The Heat shot better from the field than the Bucks (44 percent to 41.4 percent), but Miami scored just 9 fourth quarter points and only had 18 assists against Milwaukee's 25.

Despite the loss, the Heat stayed in 7th place in the Eastern Conference standings, but with a 32-38 record, they just lead 9th place Charlotte (31-39) by a mere 1 1/2 games in a tight postseason race.

Milwaukee improved to 35-36, good for sixth place in the East.

Photo: An ecstatic Bucks team piles on Khris Middleton who made a game-winining 3 to lift the Bucks over the Heat, 89-88.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Nestor Ortiola.


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