MIAMI, Fla. – The Miami Heat stand alone, the first team to beat the Milwaukee Bucks twice this season.
Jae Crowder and Jimmy Butler each scored 18 points, Goran Dragic added 15 and the Heat beat the Bucks 105-89 on Wednesday night — moving to 2-0 against the NBA’s best team.
Bam Adebayo had 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Heat, who improved to 39-22 and matched their win total from last season with 21 games remaining. Kendrick Nunn had 13 points and Kelly Olynyk added 11 for Miami.
“Collective effort,” Crowder said. “All hands on deck.”
It was a season low in points for the Bucks, set for the second straight day after Milwaukee managed only 93 in a win Sunday at Charlotte. The difference was from the 3-point line: Miami was 18 for 37, Milwaukee was 7 for 34.
“Not saying we can hold great offensive teams like this regularly under 90 ... but we have it in us to do it more consistently," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
Milwaukee has faced 21 of the 29 other NBA teams more than once this season. Most of those clubs have had minimal, or no, success: Chicago and Orlando went 0-4; Atlanta, Cleveland, New York and Charlotte are 0-3. The Heat clinched the season series, and Boston — which would have to sweep its last two matchups with the Bucks — is the only other Eastern Conference team with a chance to do that.
“Tough game," Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “The physicality, the defensive activity from both teams was very good. Credit to Miami, they played very well on both ends, shot the ball well, they made tough shots. It wasn't our night.”