MIAMI (AP) -- The Miami Heat finally can celebrate at home.
Eddie Jones scored 23 points, including the go-ahead layup with 10.5 seconds left, to lift the Heat.
Eddie Jones scored 23 points, including the go-ahead layup with
10.5 seconds left, to lift the Miami Heat to a 99-97 victory over
the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night.
The victory snapped a seven-game home losing streak for the
Heat, who have won two of three after dropping 12 straight.
"It feels great to walk into a locker room and see smiles,"
Jones said. "I've been in a lot of these locker rooms where I
didn't see too many."
Miami used its 14th different starting lineup in 19 games. Coach
Pat Riley may finally have found the right combination after
starting Rod Strickland at point guard and Jim Jackson, playing in
just his fourth game, at small forward.
"I wanted to change the energy, so I changed the lineup,"
Milwaukee had a chance to tie in the final seconds, but former
Heat Anthony Mason's drive to the basket was stopped by Jones and
Ray Allen, who had 30 points, started the play by driving right
before finding Mason in the lane. The Bucks thought Mason was
fouled, but there was no call.
"I was definitely hit," said Mason, who had 11 points.
"Everybody saw that. That's the way it goes."
The Bucks used an 11-2 run late in the fourth quarter to tie it
at 97 on a pair of free throws by Allen with 28.5 seconds left. It
was the first time the game was tied since 33-33 in the second
Allen, 10-for-14 shooting with five 3-pointers, was upset about
the no-call on Mason.
"I felt he got hammered," Allen said after the Bucks had their
two-game winning streak stopped. "I felt the Heat were trying to
Mourning had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Jackson added 16
points for Miami, which had a season high in points and shooting
"It's nice to win one of those games," Riley said. "It's been
like that about 10 times this year, going down to the wire and we
haven't been able to make plays, free throws or defensive stops."
On the decisive layup, Jones took a pass from Anthony Carter to
the right of the free-throw line and drove hard to the basket,
creating contact with Ervin Johnson as the shot was made.
"I was hoping to get to the rim and either make the shot or get
fouled," Jones said. "Actually, both of those things happened."
No foul was called.
Mourning had 10 points in the third quarter, shooting 4-for-4
from the field, as the Heat led 79-74 heading into the final
quarter. Jones had nine points in the quarter.
"I just want to make my minutes on the court effective," said
Mourning, who played 35 minutes and is trying to regain his stamina
as he battles back from a kidney disorder. "It just came down to
some effort plays down the stretch."
Behind 13 first-half points by Jackson, the Heat had a
season-high 52 points in the opening half and led by three points
at the break.
"Maybe this game will give Miami the confidence to be a special
team they have been for the past six years," Bucks coach George
Game notes Strickland had seven assists in his first start. ... With
the worst record in the NBA, Riley said before Tuesday's game:
"There is no pressure on anybody. We're out of it. In the minds of
everybody else, we're out of it." Riley, however, expects the Heat
to snap out of their slump. "My expectation is to turn this thing
around." ... Miami's Kendall Gill has been cleared to play after
being sidelined with a broken left pinky Nov. 6. Gill has not yet
practiced, but could be ready Friday against New Jersey. ...
Milwaukee center Joel Przybilla made his second straight start for
Greg Foster, out with a cervical bulging disk. ... Jason Caffey
didn't make the trip to Miami and is day to day with a strained
right hip flexor. ... The Bucks had just 11 rebounds in the first
half, tying a season low.