It was Miami’s game to lose at the half. By the final buzzer, Dwyane Wade and company were left wondering what went wrong.
The Miami Heat blew a 20-point halftime lead against first-place Milwaukee at American Airlines Arena. Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo finished Friday’s contest with 33 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists, leading his team to a 113-98 victory.
Not only was their statement win remarkable, it was also historic. According to ESPN, Milwaukee tied a franchise record with the largest second-half comeback in team history. This win also marks the first time in NBA history where a team trailing by 20 or more points at the break came back to win by at least 15.
The Milwaukee Bucks overcame a 20-point deficit at the half to beat the Miami Heat 113-98. (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
That’s the last time an NBA team was down by 20 or more at the half and won by at least 15.
Until tonight. Giannis and the Bucks did it.
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) March 16, 2019
The opening 12 minutes went everything but Milwaukee’s way. The Heat were relentless on offense and defense, and put up an impressive 37 points to the Bucks’ 19. By halftime, it seemed they would cruise to a win.
The Bucks seemed to find their momentum in the third quarter, roaring back to pull within one point with 12 minutes to play. They finished off the Heat in the final quarter, outscoring Miami 34-18.
CBS Sports caught up with Antetokounmpo after the game, and he spoke about his team’s ability to overcome early misfortunes and persevere.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re down 20, 15, 10,” he said. “We’re going to keep playing hard. It’s a process. You’ve got to win games like this. You’ve got to face adversity when you’re playing on the road. In the playoffs, it’s not going to be easy. We want to be a great team and that’s why we keep playing hard.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo was one assist away from a triple-double in Friday night’s contest against the Miami Heat. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Heat forward Justise Winslow kept it short regarding his team’s lackluster performance in the final half.
“We lost our energy in the second half,” he said.
The Bucks return home to host the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday, while the Heat look to learn from their mistakes against the Charlotte Hornets at home on Sunday.
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