Middleton buzzer-beater sends Bucks to 89-88 win over Heat
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Khris Middleton hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer and the Milwaukee Bucks snapped a six-game losing streak with an 89-88 comeback victory over Miami on Tuesday night in a key game for the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Ersan Ilyasova made the first of two free throws to pull Milwaukee within 88-86 with 12.8 seconds left. On the battle for the rebound, the Bucks' Jerryd Bayless tied up Michael Beasley and won the jump ball.
Bayless missed on a drive down the lane, but Zaza Pachulia tapped the ball back out to Middleton, who buried the winner. He finished with 13.
It was a crucial victory for the Bucks, who improved to 35-36 to remain in sixth place in the conference, while the Heat fell to 32-38. The Bucks also swept the four-game season series with the Heat to ensure the tie-breaker between the teams.
Milwaukee erased an 85-71 deficit with 14 consecutive points, tying it at 85 on layup by Pachulia with 1:20 left.
Ilyasova had 19 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo added 16 for the Bucks, who won for just the fourth time in 18 games since trading starting point guard Brandon Knight.
Wade had 21 points and Goran Dragic added 16 for the Heat.
Miami led 79-65 entering the fourth quarter and went in front 85-71 on a steal and layup by Dwyane Wade with 6:33 remaining.
Wade put the Heat on top 87-85 on the next possession, coming up with the loose ball from a scrum in the lane and curling it in from the right side.
He hit the first of two free throws with 17.5 seconds left to make it 88-85.
The Heat pulled away from a 53-all tie with a 19-6 run midway through the third quarter, taking a 72-59 lead on a 3-pointer by Henry Walker with 3:22 left in the period.
Miami outscored the Bucks 28-16 in the third as Milwaukee made just 7 of 26 shots in the period. Henry Walker made all three of his third-quarter 3-point attempts, his highest scoring quarter of the season.
Heat: Forward Hassan Whiteside left the game with 5:41 remaining in the second quarter and received 10 stitches for a cut between his middle and ring fingers on his right hand. Guard Tyler Johnson did not play due to illness.
Bucks: O.J. Mayo, who had missed the previous four games with a sore right hamstring, played about 6 minutes, scoring no points.
Heat: At Boston on Wednesday night
Bucks: Host Indiana on Thursday night