MIAMI — The host Miami Heat held reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo to 13 points and became the first team to beat the Milwaukee Bucks twice this season, prevailing 105-89 on Monday night.
Miami is 2-0 against Milwaukee, which has the best record in the NBA at 52-9.
The Heat have struggled on the road (13-18), but they have the third-best home record in the league (26-4).
Antetokounmpo was removed from the game with 4:33 left in the fourth quarter as Miami had a 15-point lead. His 13 points tied his season low. He made just 6-of-18 shots from the floor, including 0-for-4 on 3-pointers. He had three assists and a game-high 15 rebounds.
Jimmy Butler and Jae Crowder scored 18 points apiece to lead Miami. Bam Adebayo had 14 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and three blocks.
Brook Lopez had 21 points for Milwaukee.
Bucks wing Kris Middleton, who missed the past two games due to a sore neck, returned and had 10 of his 12 points in the first quarter.
The game was a contrast of styles. Milwaukee had a 46-30 edge in paint points but made just 20.6 percent on 3-pointers (7-for-34). The Heat made 48.6 percent on treys (18-for-37).
Miami led 31-26 after one quarter. Miami’s Kelly Olynyk had one stretch of 69 seconds in which he scored eight straight of the Heat’s points. For the quarter, he went 2-for-2 on 3-pointers and 2-for-2 on free throws.
The Heat stretched their lead to 12 points in the second quarter before Milwaukee rallied and trailed just 53-52 at halftime. Crowder had 16 points in the first half, including 5-for-7 shooting from deep.
Heat backup point guard Goran Dragic, who was held scoreless in the first half after missing all five of his shots, put up nine points in the third, including a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
That gave the Heat an 81-70 lead. Miami then cruised in the fourth, winning its 39th game, tying its total from last season. The 89 points represented a season low for the Bucks.
Miami is 19-0 at home when leading after three quarters. The Heat is also 17-1 against the Eastern Conference at home. — Reuters