MILWAUKEE - The Heat got vintage Hassan Whiteside on Wednesday, the type of dominant effort Miami wants to see with more regularity from its highest paid player.
But there were more than just gaudy stats. There were winning plays, Whiteside contributing late on both ends in a 106-101 Heat win over Milwaukee, Miami’s second in four days against the Bucks.
Whiteside had season highs in points (27) and blocks (six) while snaring 13 rebounds and putting his fingerprints on this game both early and late.
After not playing at all in the fourth quarter of five of Miami’s past 10 games, Whiteside entered with 4:59 left in the game and the score tied at 90.
Soon after, he dunked off a pass from Justise Winslow to put the Heat ahead 95-93, then blocked Giannis Antetokounmpo to ignite a fast break that ended with a Winslow three to put the Heat 98-93.
There were timely contributions from others.
Kelly Olynyk, who had played only nine minutes heading into the fourth, scored Miami’s first eight points of the quarter, putting the Heat ahead 88-87 with under seven minutes left on a 15-point night.
James Johnson, who opened 2 for 10, hit a three-pointer, his first successful jumper of the game, in the final five minutes.
Goran Dragic hit a layup late on a 15-point night.
Derrick Jones Jr. started at shooting guard in the absence of Dion Waiters (out for the season) and Tyler Johnson but attempted just three shots in 22 minutes, closing with five points.
Wayne Ellington received the majority of work at shooting guard, finishing with 11 points in 27 minutes.
Josh Richardson added 14 points and six rebounds, as Miami (26-18) moved 1 1/2 games ahead of Washington for fourth in the East.
Milwaukee managed only 79 points in an 18-point loss to the Heat on Sunday. The Bucks surpassed that point total early in the fourth before the Heat’s defense stiffened and Milwaukee missed some makeable shots.