Despite missing an injured superstar and even after a sloppy opening half, the Miami Heat still appear set to punch a ticket to the second round of the NBA playoffs. After one half of play in Game 4 against the Milwaukee Bucks, Miami leads, 45-41.
The story of this game came just moments before tipoff, when it was announced that All-Star guard Dwyane Wade would sit out Sunday with soreness from bone bruises in his knee. With a comfortable 3-0 lead heading into Game 4, it appears as though Wade was rested as a caution; had Miami needed Wade to play it seems as though he could’ve.
Only after one half of play, Miami is holding strong without him. They’ve taken a lead into intermission despite a first half in which they turned the ball over seven times, and shot just 3 for 13 from three-point range.
Despite the rough start, the Heat have ridden superstars LeBron James and Chris Bosh as well as strong bench play on their way to a four-point halftime lead. James and Bosh have combined for 20 points, while Ray Allen has contributed eight points, including two three-pointers, off the bench.
To Milwaukee’s credit, though, after a slow start the Bucks battled back strong in the second quarter.
Milwaukee trailed, 24-17, after one quarter of play, but behind 17 bench points from Mike Dunleavy and J.J. Redick, they cut into Miami’s lead.