The Milwaukee Bucks struggle, get crushed by shorthanded Miami Heat

Just when everybody thought they had started to hum, the Milwaukee Bucks dished out a dismal performance and lost badly to the visiting Miami Heat, 97-123, on Tuesday night.

One night after scoring an impressive 112-95 win over the defending champions Denver Nuggets, the Bucks struggled against the Heat, who led by as many as 31 points despite not having Jimmy Butler, Josh Richardson, and Terry Rozier.

Milwaukee was so dismal that it never led in the match en route to tasting the 26-point loss that snapped its two-game winning streak. The Bucks fell 3-6 under Doc Rivers and 35-20 in the season. It was only Milwaukee’s seventh loss after 30 games at home.

The Bucks have been praised for their recent strong defensive effort, but couldn’t offer a strong resistance right from the get go and allowed the Heat to score 40 points in the opening period.

Up by 12 after the first quarter, the Heat continued to pummel the Bucks, outscoring the Bucks, 58-48, in the middle periods to build a commanding 98-76 lead into the fourth. The lead ballooned to 108-78 at the 9:47 mark of the fourth as the Heat easily notched their 29th against 25 losses.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 23 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists. He committed five of Milwaukee’s 18 turnovers. Damian Lillard, Bobby Portis Jr., and Malik Beasley scored 16 points each.

Nikola Jovic led the Heat with a career-high 24 points while Bam Adebayo recorded his second triple-double of the season with 16 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 dimes.

Duncan Robinson pitched in 23 points and Tyler Herro and Kevin Love chipped in 19 apiece. Jaime Jaquez Jr. was the sixth Miami player in double figures with 12 points.

Gideon Canice

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