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Wade scores 35 as Heat handle Bucks at home

MIAMI (AP) -- Dwyane Wade got his teammates involved early, then
took over late.

Wade scored 14 of his 35 points in the fourth quarter, leading
the Miami Heat past the Milwaukee Bucks 109-98 Tuesday night.

Wade had five assists in the first quarter, but focused on his
scoring later in the game.

"I approached the game differently by coming out and focusing
on getting my teammates the ball," said Wade, who finished with
seven assists. "I want to open things up and get my teammates the
ball. Then I will start looking for my offense."

And when he did, the Bucks had few responses.

With short jumpers or drives that ended in dunks or trips to the
free throw line, Wade shot 10-of-14 from the field and 15-of-19
from the line.

"Tonight was my best game in a while, but I was most proud of
the outcome of the game," he said.

After blowing double-digit leads in their last two games, the
Heat never allowed the Bucks to get any closer than 85-81 after
Bobby Simmons' 3-pointer with 9:14 remaining in the fourth. Wade
then keyed a 13-3 spurt with eight points in the next 3:23.

"He's a talented player and causes a lot of problems,"
Milwaukee coach Terry Stotts said.

The Heat improved to 6-2 since Pat Riley took over as coach on
Dec. 12.

"We came out and took care of business and that's the sign of a
good team, coming out and making adjustments," Heat forward Udonis
Haslem said.

Reserve Maurice Williams scored 24 points. Michael Redd scored
21 points but shot 8-of-30 in the Bucks' two losses in Florida.
Milwaukee lost at Orlando on Monday night.

"What I did tonight felt like it wasn't enough," Williams
said. "You can't go away feeling good."

Shaquille O'Neal added 23 points and Jason Williams finished
with 18 points, including nine during a 19-9 run in the opening six
minutes of the second half.

"We had to buckle down, and I thought in the second half,
especially in winning time -- that period in the fourth quarter --
when we had to make stops, we made some tough spots," Riley said.

Milwaukee point guard T.J. Ford left 4:41 into the game after he
was fouled hard by Miami's James Posey as he drove to the basket.
Ford hit the two free throws before leaving for the dressing room.
He was diagnosed with a sprained left foot.

Despite Ford's early departure, Milwaukee shot 60 percent in the
first quarter and took a 31-29 lead. The Bucks stretched their lead
to 41-34 on Jiri Welsch's layup with 6:53 left in the second period
before the Heat went on a 12-5 run to tie it at 46 on Alonzo
Mourning's two free throws with 2:39 left in the first half.

Ford's absence forced Williams to play 35 minutes. He finished
10-of-18 from the field.

"My teammates did a great job finding me open," Williams said.
"I just tried to knock them down."

The Heat will play defending Eastern Conference champion Detroit
on Thursday in their first of four meetings this season.

"They are the best team in the league right now," O'Neal said.
"It will be a good measuring stick for us. This is a game where we
have to do everything right."

Game Notes
Milwaukee's bench outscored the Heat's reserves 39-21. ...
The Heat have won seven of the last nine meetings in Miami.

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