The Heat was 8 of 19 as a team from three-point range. The Bucks were 7 of 26 (26.9 percent).
“They’re such an unselfish team,” Bucks coach Jim Boylan said. “They play to whoever’s hot.”
James had a subpar game compared to his averages, Wade scored in single digits for just the third time in a postseason game, and Chris Bosh had 16 points. Yet the Heat blew out the Bucks for the third game in a row. In other words, the Bucks don’t seem to stand a chance in Game 4.
“They’ve been able to close out quarters against us, and we haven’t been able to close out quarters at all,” said Milwaukee guard Brandon Jennings, who was 5 of 15 for 16 points.
Wade went 1 of 12 from the field, scoring just one field goal in a playoff game for the second time in his career. The poor shooting was a product of a sore right forearm. Throughout the game, Wade favored his arm, and trainers were constantly massaging it during timeouts and before the second half.
Wade also aggravated his already sore knee in the first half. Still, he found a way to contribute despite the bumps and bruises, adding 11 assists and nine rebounds to his four points.
“I had to do other things tonight,” Wade said. “It’s the playoffs. That’s when it’s time to do other things.”
The Heat fell behind by 10 points in the first half before cutting the Bucks’ lead to 50-48 at halftime. Larry Sanders had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Ersan Ilyasova had 15 points and eight rebounds. Ekpe Udoh and J.J. Redick had 11 points off the bench for Milwaukee, which has been outrebounded by the Heat in all three games. The Heat won the rebounding battle 43-38 in Game 3.
“As a team, we showed a lot of guts and grit,” Wade said. “Now we have to try to close it out Sunday.”