Bucks no match for Miami in 26-point loss

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Nikola Jovic scored a career-high 24 points, Bam Adebayo had his second triple-double of the season and the Miami Heat rolled to a 123-97 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night.

Adebayo finished with 16 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. Duncan Robinson added 23 points and shot 6 of 8 from 3-point range for the Heat, who have won five of seven since a seven-game skid.

The Heat never trailed despite playing a second straight game without Jimmy Butler, who remains on personal leave following the death of a relative. The Heat also were missing Josh Richardson due to a dislocated right shoulder and Terry Rozier because of a sprained right knee.

Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton missed a fourth straight game with a sprained left ankle.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 23 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists for the Bucks but didn’t attempt a free throw all night. The last time Antetokounmpo appeared in a game without getting to the foul line was in a 128-99 victory over the Heat on Feb. 24, 2023, when he only played six minutes before leaving with a knee issue.

The Bucks were playing one night after a 112-95 triumph over the reigning NBA champion Denver Nuggets. That followed a 120-84 blowout of the Charlotte Hornets, marking the first time all season the Bucks had allowed fewer than 100 points in consecutive games.

But Milwaukee and coach Doc Rivers didn’t have any answers for a Heat team playing at less than full strength. Miami shot 51.7% overall and went 19 of 40 from 3-point range.

Jovic had 21 points by the midway point of the third quarter, surpassing the 2022 first-round pick’s previous career best of 18. The 20-year-old forward shot 8 of 13 overall and made a career-high five 3-pointers on eight attempts.

Tyler Herro and Kevin Love added 19 points each for the Heat. Damian Lillard, Malik Beasley and Bobby Portis had 16 points apiece for the Bucks.

Miami led 40-28 at the end of the opening period, as the Heat were one point shy of the highest first-quarter point total allowed by the Bucks this season. The Heat led 69-52 at the break after shooting 12 of 21 on 3-point attempts in the first half.

Lillard scored 11 points in the first five minutes of the third quarter to get the margin down to nine, but the Bucks got no closer. Jovic scored the next six points to start a 15-2 spurt that gave the Heat a 94-72 advantage with 2:20 left in the third.

The Heat eventually led by 31.


Heat: At Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Bucks: At Memphis on Thursday.


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