MILWAUKEE -- A Bucks fan held up a sign exhorting the crowd at Bradley Center to be “Loud as Lambeau” in reference to the Green Bay Packers’ fabled field two hours to the north.
For Dwyane Wade, it felt just like the “frozen tundra," too, so ice cold was his shooting touch.
For only the third time in his playoff career, one that now numbers 113 games, Wade was held to single digits in points. He finished with only four points on 1-for-12 shooting, with his only made basket coming on a second-quarter dunk.
And, yet, in terms of the final outcome, it didn’t matter.
The Heat still overpowered the Milwaukee Bucks 104-91 to move within a win of sweeping the series.
“I shot the ball terrible,” Wade said. “But we played a good game.”
Wade is not completely healthy. He missed six of the Heat’s final 11 regular-season games with a bone bruise in his right knee that continues to bother him, and he and coach Erik Spoelstra are banking on the two off days before Game 4 Sunday to aid Wade in the healing process.
A team trainer also spent time massaging Wade’s right forearm during timeouts. Wade said it was the result of physical play Thursday.
Wade will get more time off if the Heat can end the series in four. Given how he looked Thursday, he might need it.
“Dwyane’s giving us everything he’s got right now, and he’ll continue to get healthier each game,” Spoelstra said.
Said Wade: “I wasn’t feeling great tonight. I’m not worried about it. I’m not going to cry. I’ve got two days off. So, hopefully, it’ll be better for Game 4.”
Only once — as a rookie in 2004 — has Wade held been held to fewer points in a playoff contest. He managed just two in a game against New Orleans. And his only other single-digit playoff performance came in 2012 when Indiana held him to five points.
“I don’t even care,” Spoelstra said of Wade’s low output. “I just like having him out there. We were able to run the offense through him. Even though he didn’t have a [great] shooting night, he wasn’t trying to make up for it all at once. He just let the game come to him, and a lot of times it was just making one more pass to the open shooter.”
Wade contributed, finishing with a team-high 11 assists and also grabbed nine rebounds.
But the Heat bench contributed most in Tuesday’s win.
Ray Allen led the Heat with 23 points, making five of eight three-pointers. Chris Andersen added 11 points, making all five of his shots. And Norris Cole added seven points and played solid defense on Bucks guard Brandon Jennings.
“We’re not one guy, two guys, three guys,” Wade said. “Everyone who came in there can make an impact. Birdman made a big impact tonight. Norris Cole made a big impact tonight. Guys can pick guys up, and that’s what we’re about.”
As for Allen, Wade said, “This is one of those nights where you think, ‘Be thankful for Ray Allen.’”
Wade didn’t have it. But enough of the others did.
“I wasn’t feeling great tonight,” he said. “But I’m not a one-dimensional player. I had a lot of shots around the basket and didn’t make them, for whatever reason, but I’ve got to do other things. I tried to get my teammates shots and tried to get down and rebound."