Heat 118, Bucks 95
LeBron James scored 33 points and got the entire fourth quarter off, Michael Beasley scored 19 off the bench and the host Miami Heat had little trouble on the way to beating the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night.
Mario Chalmers finished with 15 points and seven assists for the Heat, whose biggest victory margin before Tuesday was a 12-point triumph over Chicago on opening night. Chris Bosh scored 10 for Miami (5-3).
John Henson and Gary Neal each scored 18 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 11 for Milwaukee — all three of them putting up the points off the Bucks’ bench. Caron Butler was the only double-digit-scoring starter for the Bucks (2-4), finishing with 10.
Miami played without Udonis Haslem (back) and Ray Allen (ill). Shane Battier started in Haslem’s place.
The Heat have scored at least 100 points in each of their eight games so far, extending the team’s franchise-record for such a start, but what carried much more significance in the collective eyes of the two-time defending NBA champions were the defensive numbers.
Milwaukee shot only 35 percent in the first three quarters, before scoring 33 points against an array of what largely was Heat second- and third-teamers in the final 12 minutes.
James gave the Heat a shot of adrenalin late in the half, when he and Chalmers teamed up for yet another entry on Miami’s alley-oop highlight reel. Dwyane Wade grabbed a deflected ball and got it to Chalmers, who drove down the lane against Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton — then simply lofted the ball straight up, knowing James was trailing the play.
The result was predictable. James soared past Middleton for the dunk, the Heat took a 56-45 lead into the half, and the league’s four-time MVP then took over in the third quarter.
James 17, Bucks 17 — that was the score in the third quarter, after the Heat star made 6-of-9 shots in the period.
Mavericks 105, Wizards 95
Dirk Nowitzki had 19 points to pass Jerry West on the NBA’s career scoring list, and the host Dallas Mavericks beat the Washington Wizards. Nowitzki hit consecutive 3-pointers late in the third quarter, the second one putting him at 25,194 points for 16th, two ahead of West.