For his next return to Milwaukee on Saturday night, the Miami star hopes to get some help from some hobbled teammates as the Heat try to snap the Bucks’ five-game home winning streak in the opener of a home-and-home series.
Wade, who averaged 19.9 points while leading Marquette to a 30-1 home record during his two seasons from 2001-03, could again receive a warm welcome when he returns to Milwaukee for the first of two trips this season. The All-Star is averaging 22.1 points while going 5-4 on the road against the Bucks.
Averaging 29.6 points in his last five contests, Wade certainly has the ability to carry his team to victory, but he knows that the Heat (24-22) are at their best when he’s getting as much support as possible.
Miami, which is sixth in the Eastern Conference, could be without second-leading scorer Michael Beasley(notes) (16.0 ppg, 6.7 rebounds per game) for a second consecutive game after he missed Friday’s 92-65 win at Detroit. The Heat also hope veteran center Jermaine O’Neal(notes) is healthy enough to play after he posted 10 points and 11 boards against the Pistons despite injuring his knee.
“This was one of our best team efforts of the season,” Wade said. “Everybody came in and did something different, and that’s just what we needed.”
The Heat will likely need to be as healthy as possible against the Bucks (19-25), who are 14-7 at home and looking for their first six-game winning streak at the Bradley Center since opening the 2007-08 season there with six straight victories.
Averaging 106.0 points during their home winning streak, the Bucks look to avoid a third straight loss to Miami, which has won its last two trips to Milwaukee.
After beating Philadelphia 91-88 on Wednesday, Milwaukee looks to win back-to-back games for the first time since opening January with a three-game winning streak.
Rookie Brandon Jennings(notes) shook off a rough start to finish with 18 points and seven assists while Charlie Bell(notes) also had 17 as the Bucks improved to 4-10 in games decided by three points or fewer this season.
“A lot of close games so far have been not going our way,” said Jennings, who missed his first five shots but went 8 of 13 the rest of the game. “It was good to get a home win. We’re pretty good at home right now.”
Jennings, though, has cooled off at home. Highlighted by a 55-point game against Golden State on Nov. 14, the 10th overall pick averaged 25.5 points while shooting 47.9 percent in his first 11 home games, but he’s been held to 13.1 and 34.8 percent shooting in his last 10.
Though Jennings could have his hands full in his first matchup against Wade and the Heat, Milwaukee hopes Andrew Bogut(notes) continues his solid play against Miami. The 7-footer has averaged 15.6 points and 11.8 boards in his last five games in the series.
The teams meet again Monday in Miami.