MILWAUKEE -- With one-third of the Miami Heat's vaunted "Big Three" struggling, the time was right for Ray Allen to have a big night.
Allen did just that, scoring 23 off the bench to lead Miami to a 104-91 victory over the Bucks in Game 3 of an Eastern Conference first-round playoff series Thursday at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
The Heat took a 3-0 series lead, and they could sweep the series with a win Sunday in Milwaukee.
Allen went 8-for-14 from the field and made five 3-pointers, giving him 322 during the playoffs for his career. He moved past Reggie Miller (320) to break the all-time record for postseason 3-pointers.
"It just came out of nowhere," said Allen, who spent the first 5 1/2 seasons of his career in Milwaukee and led the Bucks to the 2001 Eastern Conference finals. "I think about all the guys that came before me and what I've been able to do playing this game. So many great athletes, great shooters ... I've been able to leave my mark ... I'm just carrying on that torch."
Allen's production helped make up for a quiet night from Dwyane Wade, who hit just one of 12 shots and finished with four points. Wade still contributed, dishing out 11 assists, grabbing nine rebounds and making five steals in 36 minutes.
"I don't even care (about Wade's struggles)," Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. "I just like having him out there. He played such a great team game. In the fourth quarter, he showed such great maturity. He didn't force it, he wasn't trying to make up for it all at once."
It didn't hurt having someone like Allen waiting in the wings.
"We don't take him for granted," Spoelstra said. "To have someone of his caliber coming off the bench is significant. Without him tonight, we probably don't have a chance to pull away and win in the fourth."
In all, five Heat players scored in double figures. LeBron James finished with 22 points, six assists and five rebounds. Chris Bosh had 16 points and 14 rebounds, and Udonis Haslem had 12 points. Chris Andersen added 11 points and six rebounds.
Miami shot 51.9 percent from the field and used a 43-38 rebounding advantage to outscore Milwaukee 16-4 on second-chance points.
"They were on the glass and took advantage of that," Bucks coach Jim Boylan said. "That hurt us."
The Bucks came out fighting in front of their home crowd. Milwaukee led 30-21 after one quarter and went ahead by as many as 10 in the second, as J.J. Redick found his stroke en route to 11 points on the night. He hit two early 3-pointers. As a team, Milwaukee shot at a 49 percent clip in the first half, but the Heat outscored the Bucks 8-2 over the final 45 seconds and trailed 50-48 at the break.
Milwaukee made one last charge in the third, riding a 9-0 run to a 61-55 lead with 7:13 left in the quarter, but the Heat answered. James went 4-for-6 for nine points in the quarter, and Miami led by 10 after three.
A 20-5 run in final quarter put the Heat ahead by 17, and Miami coasted the rest of the way.
"We had to fight for this one," Spoelstra said. "They came out with a great deal of intensity, got us on our heels, got us in some foul trouble at the beginning of the third quarter, but we gathered ourselves after that and took a step forward."
Larry Sanders and Brandon Jennings led Milwaukee with 16 points each. Sanders added 11 rebounds. Jennings had eight assists and five steals, but he and Monta Ellis combined to shoot just 7-for-24, 2-for-13 from distance. Ellis scored seven points.
Milwaukee went 5-for-10 on 3-pointers in the first quarter but was 2-for-16 the rest of the way. The Bucks are 18-for-70 (25.7 percent) on 3-point attempts during the playoffs.
"Tonight we hit a couple in the beginning, but it seems like as the game goes on, we get a little tired," Jennings said. "We're too busy trying to look for the 3 instead of attacking. We're settling for a lot of 3s."
Ersan Ilyasova scored 15 points for Milwaukee, while Luc Richard Mbah a Moute added 12, and Mike Dunleavy had 11.
NOTES: Sanders was back in the starting lineup after tweaking his ankle in a collision with the Heat's Shane Battier in Game 2. ... Ellis made three steals, giving him nine through the series' first three games. His steal average leads all players in the current postseason. ... Miami's Mario Chalmers went 0-for-3 on 3-pointers and is still one short of the franchise career postseason mark. He has 75. ... The Heat have won at least one road playoff game in nine consecutive series, the longest current streak in the NBA.