What happened: The Miami Heat led from start to finish in a routine 110-87 win over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference first-round series Sunday night at AmericanAirlines Arena.
It looked as if the Heat would blow the Bucks into the ocean right away while jumping out to a 21-8 lead. The Bucks did close to within 26-24 at the end of the first quarter before the Heat steadily pulled away.
Forward LeBron James led the Heat with 27 points and guard Ray Allen added 20. Guard Brandon Jennings, who had predicted the Bucks would beat the Heat in six games, led Milwaukee with 26 points.
The turning point: After the Bucks closed the deficit to 52-48 in the first minute of the second half on a 3-pointer by guard Monta Ellis, the Heat went on an 18-7 spurt to take a 70-55 lead. Keying the run was guard Dwyane Wade, who had seven of his 16 points.
The difference maker: James always makes a difference. He really did Sunday by getting 10 rebounds and eight assists to nearly have a triple-double. He shot 9-of-11 from the field for 81.8 percent, a career playoff best.
James spoke about how beneficial rest was while sitting out six late-season games. He will get lots of more rest if the Heat sweep the series.
What it means: There’s no reason to believe this won’t be a quick series. It would be a surprise if the Heat don’t win 4-0.
The Heat weren’t overly enthralled to see Jennings actually predict Milwaukee would win in six games. The Bucks did have a stretch between late in the 2010-11 season and early this season in which they won four of six over Miami. But those days are long gone.
What’s next: Game 2 of the series is 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at AmericanAirlines Arena.