Knowing how the Miami Heat play, the Bucks' 50-48 first half lead might not be terribly safe. LeBron James' squad has the tendency to hold single-digit leads, look steady but unimpressive, then go on brief but backbreaking bursts of runs in the third or fourth quarters.
But at the very least, Brandon Jennings' six-game prediction for a Milwaukee series victory still mathematically remains hanging by the thinnest of threads. How are the Bucks keeping it close? We take a look at the three keys to the game from our Game 3 preview.
Will Jim Boylan Find More Minutes For J.J. Redick?
Redick hit his first two buckets, both three-pointers, upon entering. That gave Boylan good reason to keep him in the game, and the reserve guard played 10 minutes in the first half to score 11 points. Milwaukee as a whole went 6-for-12 from beyond the three-point line to start the game. The Bucks led by as many as nine in the early parts of the second quarter, but a red-hot Ray Allen and James' usual play kept Miami close.
Can Luc Mbah a Moute Slow Down LeBron James?
No, although it wasn't really the Bucks forward's fault that James scored 11 points in the first quarter and had 13 at the half after making a buzzer-beater before heading to the locker room. As usual, James freight-trained his way to the hoop off long rebounds following Milwaukee jump-shots. He also played within the offense to earn four assists.
The biggest problem for Milwaukee has been Ray Allen, who has 15 points and three made three-pointers at halftime.
Will Chris Bosh Exploit His Matchup Against Ersan Ilyasova?
It's not going well for Bosh thus far. He went 0-for-5 in the first quarter without a point, and Ilyasova had nine points and three assists in the first quarter. Ilyasova didn't score again before halftime, and he was pulled with less than two minutes to play to prevent him from picking up a third foul. Bosh recovered a little bit, but he did his most damage on the boards. Bosh has four points on 1-for-7 shooting to go with seven rebounds at the break.