Milwaukee: The Milwaukee Bucks stunned the Miami Heat with a fourth-quarter charge on Saturday to record a 104-85 win over the NBA champions.
With the Heat leading 71-69 entering the final period, the Bucks (16-12) kicked into high gear and outscored Miami 35-14 to blow them off the floor in the last quarter.
Brandon Jennings scored 25 points, Mike Dunleavy scored 13 of his 18 in the fourth and Milwaukee forced Miami into errors and turnovers. It was Miami’s second successive loss.
“It was good to win a game like this against the defending champs,” said Milwaukee’s Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. “We’ve got to enjoy this one and continue to go at it. We needed to win a couple of games in a row at home.”
Heat guard Dwyane Wade returned from his one-game suspension for kicking Charlotte’s Ramon Sessions and scored 24 points, while LeBron James added 26 points.
Milwaukee had jumped out to a 56-44 halftime lead but gave the advantage back in the third, where James took over and the Heat outscored them 27-13 in the quarter.
James had 14 in the third to pull his team back in the game, but everything changed in the fourth as Larry Sanders and Moute both produced two blocks each in the first few minutes to fuel a stirring run for the home side.
Playing in front of a boisterous crowd, the Bucks scored the first nine points of the fourth and never looked back.
“It’s always been tough for us to play them,” Wade said. “It’s always a battle. They did their job and used their energy in the fourth quarter. They took a lead and we couldn’t come back.”
Moute finished with 19 points and Sanders had 16 and 11 rebounds.
It was a rare off night for the Heat, who just missed tying their season-low point total of 84 and got little help from their supporting cast.
Both James and Wade made more than half of their field goal attempts and Chris Bosh (12 points) was the only other player to reach double figures.