Bucks humbled by Heat in one-sided loss
MILWAUKEE — Ramon Sessions glanced up at the television in the Bucks locker room and saw the final score crawl along the bottom line.
"We had 67. Wow. That’s pretty low," Sessions said. "In this game, scoring 67 points, it’s going to be hard to beat anybody."
Milwaukee started slow and could never pick it up offensively against the defending champions Saturday night, as the Bucks scored a season-low in a 88-67 loss to the Heat in front of a season-best crowd of 17,986 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
The 67 points were the second-fewest scored by an NBA team this season. Washington scored 66 points in a loss to Indiana on Jan. 10. On that very date, the Bucks scored their previous season-low in an 81-72 defeat to Chicago.
However, the most frustrating part of the night might have been the way Miami played. Dwyane Wade, Mario Chalmers, Ray Allen and Greg Oden sat out, while LeBron James tied a season-low with just 13 points.
James wasn’t aggressive because he didn’t have to be. Miami never trailed by fewer than nine points after the first quarter and led by more than 14 points the entire second half, and it wasn’t because the Heat were sizzling offensively.
"We struggled offensively," Bucks coach Larry Drew said. "I thought that was our biggest problem, particularly in the first half. We were just not sharp from an offensive standpoint.
"We did a poor job off the dribble. We didn’t do a good job with our passing. You give credit where credit is due. Miami is a very good defensive team, they rotate well, and they help out well. I thought our offense was not very good tonight."
A better start to the game could have helped the Bucks immensely. The Heat were sloppy and sluggish from the start and left the door wide open for Milwaukee to hang around. Miami had just six points in the first six minutes of the game, but the Bucks could only muster four points up to that point.
The Bucks shot 5-of-17 with seven turnovers in the first quarter and were doomed whenever the Heat turned it on. Miami never really got going, but it did enough to win in a blowout.
"We played good defense, we just couldn’t score," Sessions, who led the Bucks in scoring with 15 points, said. "You have to score to win games. It was just one of those nights. It’s not going to happen often in this league."
Milwaukee thought it was going to be without Giannis Antetokounmpo on Saturday, but the rookie fought through a sprained right ankle to play. Originally ruled out after shootaround, athletic trainer Scott Barthlama left the decision up to Antetokounmpo.
On a minutes limit, Antetokounmpo scored just one point with four rebounds and missed all five of his shot attempts in 22 minutes.
"He said he wanted to play," Drew said. "I was really happy about that. He got out there and gave it his best.
"I asked him how his ankle was doing every timeout. He fought through it. I’m proud of him."
The Bucks’ starters combined to go 18-of-55 (32.7 percent) from the field, including a 6 for 18 shooting night from Brandon Knight. Milwaukee only hit 27-of-79 field goals (34.2 percent) and finished with 17 turnovers.
"I just didn’t feel like we had that pep in our step, I didn’t feel it," Drew said.
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