Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

April 24, 2013

NBA PLAYOFFS: Heat lead series 2-0, Wade heads back to Milwaukee

MIAMI — A banner bearing Dwyane Wade's jersey number hangs in the arena the Milwaukee Bucks call home, in tribute of his days as a standout at Marquette.

Suffice to say, he won't have favorite-son status over the next few days.

Wade and the Miami Heat are halfway to advancing in the NBA playoffs after topping the Milwaukee Bucks 98-86 on Tuesday night to take a 2-0 lead in the teams' Eastern Conference first-round series. Wade scored 21 points, LeBron James finished with 19 and the Heat opened the fourth quarter on a 12-0 run to pull away.

Now comes a Wednesday flight to Milwaukee, followed by Game 3 there on Thursday night, when the Heat can take absolute control of the matchup. And Wade is certain that nothing will come easily, not even for the defending NBA champions.

"They're going to come out and play with emotion,'' Wade said. "I've been in Milwaukee when they've had playoff teams. I know that place can get very loud.''

So can his current home arena, which roared for 2 minutes in the fourth quarter when the Heat finally shook off Milwaukee's upset bid.

It was 68-65 entering the fourth. With James and four backups on the court, the Heat needed only 2 minutes, 22 seconds to score a dozen unanswered points and stretch the lead to 80-65.

"We held court,'' Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We protected it for two games. We did what we're supposed to do. And that's it.''

Chris Bosh, Shane Battier and Chris Andersen all scored 10 points for the Heat. James' postseason streaks of 22 straight games with at least 20 points, and 16 straight games of at least 25 points, both came to an end.

Ultimately, none of that mattered.

"We were able to jump on them,'' James said.

Ersan Ilyasova scored 21 points for Milwaukee, which got 16 from Mike Dunleavy and 14 from Larry Sanders. The Bucks' starting guards, Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, combined for only 15 points - after teaming up to score 48 in Game 1.

"It's a series,'' said Sanders, who had a sore right ankle after a collision with Battier in the fourth quarter. "We made progress this game.''

They'll need to make more, and do it quickly. James has never lost in 10 previous series in which his team takes a 2-0 lead, and Wade is 8-0 in that same situation.

He was a skinny kid who Miami drafted as a point guard in 2003, a couple months after he took Marquette to the Final Four. Three years later, he became an MVP of the NBA Finals. Now he's looking for his fourth trip to the title round in eight seasons.

To this day, he credits the help he got in Milwaukee for much of his success.

"I went to Milwaukee with not a lot of expectations, and I came out of Milwaukee the fifth pick in the draft,'' Wade said. "Milwaukee has been special to me. It has helped me get to this point. Going back there in the playoffs is a cool thing.''

For a while on Tuesday, it looked as though Wade and the Heat might go to Milwaukee without a 2-0 series lead. It was that 12-0 run that was the difference - in what finished as a 12-point game.

Andersen started it with a three-point play, James had a layup not long afterward and the Heat were starting to roll. Another basket by Andersen off a pass from Ray Allen made it 77-65, and James found Norris Cole for a 3-pointer that capped the flurry and made it 80-65.

Just like that, it was over, even to Miami's surprise.

"They were doing some things that had us spinning around a little bit defensively, got us on our heels, and offensively we never got into a rhythm,'' Spoelstra said. "So we figured we were just going to have to find a way to grind in the fourth quarter, figuring it was going to be a close game.''

Jennings and Ellis combined for 48 points in Game 1, and the Bucks got blown out. So in the first half of Game 2, they combined for one point, were held to five shots that all missed ... and the Bucks were within 47-43 at halftime.

Chances are, very few would have seen that coming.

But play was sloppy from the outset, with the teams combining for eight turnovers in the first 6 minutes to set the tone for a clumsy first half. Wade, James and Chalmers shot 15 for 19 combined in the first half for Miami - and the rest of the Heat were 3 for 17. For Milwaukee, Ilyasova had 12 points in the first 10 minutes, then two points the rest of the half.

So much like in Game 1, Milwaukee came out for the second half with a chance of stealing home-court advantage.

And for the entirety of the third quarter, the Bucks hung around, though the Heat showed some signs of getting things going. Bosh had a dunk for a six-point lead, then made a jumper - on a play that James started by running down a loose ball and flicking it between his legs for a save along the sideline - for a 68-60 lead, what was then the biggest Heat margin of the night.

The Bucks got within 68-65 to end the third, but then came the run that Miami had been waiting for all evening.

"We felt pretty good about the position we were in, giving ourselves an opportunity on the road with 12 minutes to go,'' Bucks coach Jim Boylan said. "You feel good about that. Then they come out, go on a 12-0 run and it changes the complexion of the game. Playing catch-up is very hard to do against a high-quality team like Miami.''

Jennings said Milwaukee would win in six games before the series began, and his confidence didn't waver even now with his club in an 0-2 hole.

"We showed a lot of improvement tonight,'' said Jennings, who shot 3 for 15. "Aside of making that run in the fourth, I think we should have won this game.''

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • DSC_0344web.jpg ‘Lucky 7’ comes through in the 3rd

    Over the course of his four-year baseball career at Verdigris High School, third baseman Ryan Skalnik has had his share of memorable at-bats.
    None more important than Tuesday’s appearance in the Large School East-West All-State Game at J.L. Johnson Stadium in Tulsa.
    Skalnik, who was the lone senior this season for Verdigris and a four-time Class 3A state champion, thrived under pressure in the top of the third inning for the East.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • BASEBALL: Larue, Skalnik power East to 3-0 victory

    The East blanked the West 3-0 in the Large School All-State Baseball Game Tuesday night at J. L. Johnson Stadium on the campus of Oral Roberts University.
    Claremore catcher Matt Whatley and third baseman Ryan Skalnik of Verdigris represented Rogers County in the contest.
    Skalnik finished 1-for-3 with a pair of RBI's.  Whatley was 0-for-1 with a walk.

    July 30, 2014

  • FISHFRYweb.jpg Claremore QB Club holds Fish Fry Aug. 2

    The Claremore Zebra Quarterback Club will hold its annual Fish Fry fundraiser on Aug. 2 at the Claremore High School cafeteria.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ex-OSU baseball players Oliver, Hague on new paths in All-Star season

    Matt Hague has transitioned to being a power hitter and Andy Oliver has evolved into a shutdown closer.

    The former Oklahoma State players were both named International League All-Stars after reinventing themselves this season with the Indianapolis Indians, the Triple-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    July 31, 2014

  • Ex-Sooner Courtney Paris finding niche with Shock

    It looked like it came easily to Courtney Paris. The minute she stepped foot on the campus at the University of Oklahoma in 2005, it seemed she was already an All-American and destroying the competition in the Big 12 and across the nation.

    July 31, 2014

  • MLB: Keuchel tosses 4-hitter, Astros roll past A's

    In at least one category, Dallas Keuchel is Clayton Kershaw's equal. For at least one three-game series, Houston was better than Oakland.

    Keuchel pitched a four-hitter and Robbie Grossman homered to cap a six-run first inning that sent the Astros past the Athletics 8-1 Wednesday.

    July 31, 2014

  • MLB: Rangers edge Yankees for rare series win

    Texas Rangers starter Colby Lewis did a bit of reminiscing when he noticed the stands filling up while he warned up in the bullpen before the game.

    The veteran right-hander went out and provided a promising flashback performance against the New York Yankees, even after another leadoff homer by Brett Gardner. The Rangers clinched their first series in a month with a 3-2 victory Wednesday night.

    July 31, 2014

  • MLB: Padres rip Cardinals with 12-run explosion

    Rookie Jesse Hahn gave himself a nice present on his 25th birthday and his teammates gave him far more run support than he needed.

    Hahn held St. Louis to one run and four hits in seven innings and Jedd Gyorko and Will Venable each homered and drove in four runs to lead the San Diego Padres to a 12-1 victory Wednesday night.

    July 31, 2014

  • MLB: Cubs acquire Red Sox LHP Doubront

    Theo Epstein was the first person to take a chance on Felix Doubront. Now he is going to give the struggling left-hander another opportunity.

    The Chicago Cubs acquired Doubront from the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday in exchange for a player to be named. Epstein, the president of baseball operations for the Cubs, was Boston's general manager when Doubront signed with the Red Sox as an undrafted free agent in 2005.

    July 31, 2014

  • MLB: Kemp's RBI-single lifts Dodgers to 5th-straight win

    Matt Kemp has suddenly found his power, and it's helping keep the Los Angeles Dodgers atop the NL West.

    Kemp singled in the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning after homering in consecutive games for the first time in over a year and the Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves 3-2 Wednesday night for their season-best fifth straight victory.

    July 31, 2014