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Heat 118, Bucks 95

The SportsXchange

MIAMI - The Miami Heat, coming off a rare home loss, got back on track Tuesday night with an easy 118-95 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks at AmericanAirlines Arena.

It was a season-high point total for Miami, which shot 58 percent from the field.

Heat forward LeBron James scored 33 points - two off his season high - while another one of the world's most famous athletes was watching court-side. That would be Brazilian soccer star Neymar, who will lead his national team against Honduras in a Miami friendly on Saturday.

James scored 17 points in the third quarter, when the Heat took an 85-62 lead. The Heat had led 56-45 at halftime and 32-23 after one quarter.

The Heat (5-3) bounced back from Saturday's stunning home loss to the Boston Celtics.

James' explosive performance Tuesday overshadowed a quiet night by Heat guard Dwyane Wade, who was held to eight points in 31 minutes. That snapped his streak of 67 straight games in which he had scored in double figures.

Heat point guard Mario Chalmers was among the Heat players who picked up the slack. He made all four of his shots in the first half and finished with 15 points.

Forward Michael Beasley also contributed, scoring 17 points off the bench.

The Bucks (2-4) lost their second game in a row.

This was the first Miami-Milwaukee matchup since the first round of last season's playoffs, when the Heat swept the Bucks in four games.

But the Bucks revised their lineup extensively since then, bringing in new coach Larry Drew and 11 new players.

One of the newcomers is guard Brandon Knight, a guard who played his high school ball locally at Fort Lauderdale Pine Crest. He scored six points off the bench in his second game back from an ankle injury.

Another Bucks newcomer is rookie second-round pick Nate Wolters, a point guard who entered Tuesday leading the NBA with 6.2 assists per turnover. On Tuesday, he had nine points, three assists and no turnovers.

Injuries have crippled the Bucks so far this season. In fact, forward Caron Butler is the only Bucks player who has started every game this season. He had 10 points Tuesday night.

Butler was a Heat lottery pick in 2002 and played two years for the franchise before being part of the trade that brought Shaquille O'Neal.

Forward John Henson led the Bucks with a season-high 18 points and guard Gary Neal also scored 18 points.

NOTES: The Heat played without G Ray Allen (illness). ... Heat F Shane Battier started his second straight game in place of injured F Udonis Haslem (back spasms). ... Bucks F Ersan Ilyanova (sore ankle) did not make the three-game road trip that also includes games at Orlando and Indiana. ... The Ilyanova injury comes on the heels of Monday's news that C Larry Sanders will miss at least six weeks due to surgery on his right thumb after an incident at a night club. ... Bucks G Luke Ridnour (back injury) is still out but might be nearing a return. ... Bucks G Carlos Delfino (foot surgery) suffered a setback in his recovery and will miss four to six months.
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