LeBron James exploded in the second half and the Miami Heat blew out the Milwaukee Bucks Tuesday night, 118-95. James had 33 points on 13-of-21 shooting in just 30 minutes, and Michael Beasley scored 19 points in by far his best game of the year.
Mario Chalmers and LeBron James controlled the game early, but James really turned up the heat in the third quarter, scoring 17 points while the Heat extended their lead to 84-62 heading into the fourth. The Bucks were led by John Henson and Gary Neal, who had 18 apiece, but for much of the game Henson was the only player who looked like he was making a positive impact on the floor.
The game started with Miami essentially running a layup line. Twenty of the Heat's 32 first quarter points game in the paint, and they shot 12-of-20. James and Chalmers consistently found each other cutting to the hoop, making it clear Nate Wolters couldn't stick with Rio and anyone the Bucks put on LeBron couldn't stay with the MVP.
Chalmers played exceptionally well in the first half, with 13 points on 4-of-4 shooting with four assists, three rebounds and two steals; he played great defense and moved well away from the ball. Nine players for the Bucks scored in the first half -- everyone who played, save for Zaza Pachulia -- but no one played particularly well, and the Bucks shot 15-of-40 as a team. Giannis Antetokounmpo made a three-pointer, though, so it wasn't a total loss.
The Heat move to 5-3 with the win in the densely crowded Eastern Conference, while the Bucks sink to 2-4.