Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/5

Game 1: Saturday, November 5th
Game 2: Wednesday, December 14th
Game 3: Tuesday, December 27th
Game 4: Tuesday, April 4th

Bucks 98

(15-11, 7-6 away)

Heat 109

(17-12, 11-4 home)

7:30 PM ET, December 27, 2005

AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL

1 2 3 4 T
MIL 31 23 21 2398
MIA 29 23 27 30109

Top Performers

Mil: M. Williams 24 Pts, 2 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl

Mia: D. Wade 35 Pts, 3 Reb, 7 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

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.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 98 109
FGM-FGA 34-73 (.466) 37-77 (.481)
3PM-3PA 5-14 (.357) 6-21 (.286)
FTM-FTA 25-34 (.735) 29-36 (.806)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-40 9-33
Assists 12 17
Turnovers 19 13
Steals 6 9
Blocks 2 4
Fast Break Points 13 7
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 33 (0/0) 23 (1/0)
Largest Lead 7 14

Top Performers

Mo Williams Williams
Points: 24
Reb: 2
Ast: 2
Stl: 1
Blk: 0
Dwyane Wade Wade
Points: 35
Reb: 3
Ast: 7
Stl: 2
Blk: 1