The Milwaukee Bucks threw off the offensive rhythm of Dwyane Wade(notes) and the visiting Miami Heat in the opener of a home-and-home series. The Heat hope Michael Beasley(notes) can return for the finale, and they’ll also be hoping Wade is fit to join him.
Wade tweaked his back in Saturday’s loss, and his status for Monday’s visit from the Bucks is uncertain as the Heat try to avoid their fourth defeat in five games.
Wade and Miami’s starters got plenty of rest in cruising past Detroit 92-65 on Friday even without Beasley, who was out with a hyperextended right knee. The Heat (24-23) then played it safe in Milwaukee on Saturday, sitting Beasley even though he took part in the pregame shootaround.
A night after the easy victory, however, Miami fell apart early at the Bradley Center. Andrew Bogut(notes) scored 12 of his 17 points in the first half as the Bucks (20-25) opened an 18-point lead en route to a 95-84 win.
“I guess we got the D-Wade stopper on the team right now,” said Bucks rookie guard Brandon Jennings(notes), who had 17 points but shot 4 of 13 in his first game against Miami. “He did a real good job, but I think everybody did a good job showing help.”
Wade also aggravated a back injury in the loss. While he is questionable for Monday, the six-time All-Star believes he’ll be ready along with Beasley.
“It was tight, but no doubt, I was able to play,” said Wade, held to an average of 20.0 points on 34.2 percent shooting in his last four games against Milwaukee. “The only thing I can do now is, hopefully, get some rest (Sunday). Hopefully, Monday, I’ll be back. I’ll be able to have my explosiveness back going to the basket.”
The Bucks went 6-0 at home in January, but they have been a different team on the road, losing four straight and seven of eight since Jan. 10 - though their last three such defeats came by five points or fewer.
Milwaukee dropped eight of its last 10 at Miami.
“Teams play different when they are at their own house,” Jennings said. “When D-Wade is in Miami there is no telling what he is going to do. We just have to bring the same intensity like we did (Saturday).”
Milwaukee could also use another strong performance from Bogut. The Bucks are 13-4 when he scores 17 or more.
Beasley averaged 18.1 points in his previous 11 games before getting hurt at Toronto on Wednesday. The second-year forward averaged 15.0 points against Milwaukee last season.
Warrick, in his first season with Milwaukee after spending his first four in Memphis, averaged 14.8 points in his last six games against the Heat.