The reality is the Milwaukee Bucks accomplished plenty of what they had hoped for Sunday night against the Miami Heat: Brandon Jennings was walking the walk after his uber-confident pregame talk. Monta Ellis was erasing his regular-season scoring struggles in the matchup. And a surprisingly aggressive defense was forcing a barrage of early turnovers. The depressing part? It didn't matter. Not when LeBron James is motoring to a highly efficient 27 points on 9-of-11 shooting, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Not when Chris Bosh is converting three 3-pointers. Not when Chris Andersen is standing Birdman tall against the Bucks' length. No, not everything in this 110-87 victory in the opener of this best-of-seven first-round series against the Bucks at AmericanAirlines Arena went according to form for the Heat. Except the result. "We know we can play a better game," James said. "We didn't play our best ball." Despite unexpected pushback from the Bucks, perhaps more than some might have anticipated, the Heat were able to take a 1-0 lead heading into Tuesday's 7:30 p.m. Game 2, before the series heads to Milwaukee for the following two games. While James was sublime, Bosh was taking his game to unexpected lengths. "I think what really opened up everybody was C.B., " James said of Bosh. Then there was Andersen turning into some type of WWE Birdman character. Through it all, the Heat still saw the Bucks get the type of backcourt productivity that figures to be Milwaukee's only way to make this series competitive. "I thought we played well enough in stretches," Bucks coach Jim Boylan said. "But we just have to figure out how to sustain that." And, of course, figure out James. "He really let the game come to him, facilitated quite a bit for us," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. "It was a very mature high-IQ game." James' 9-of-11 shooting was his best playoff percentage (.818).
LeBron leads Heat to 110-87 victory, 1-0 lead over Bucks
Published On: Apr 21 2013 10:07:41 PM CDT Updated On: Apr 21 2013 10:07:41 PM CDT
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