Heat too hot for Giannis, Bucks
LOS ANGELES, USA – The Miami Heat completed a superb second-half comeback to spoil Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks' home opener with a 131-126 overtime victory on Saturday, October 26 (Sunday, October 27, Philippine time).
Reigning NBA MVP Antetokounmpo led the scoring with 29 points, including a magical buzzer-beating tip-in to force overtime, but was unable to thwart Miami's victory charge.
The Heat, missing star Jimmy Butler, had trailed by 21 points in the 3rd quarter but exploded to overwhelm the Bucks down the stretch, outscoring the home team by 16 points in the 4th quarter and overtime.
Goran Dragic led the Miami scoring with 25 points from the bench while Bam Adebayo weighed in with 19 points, 13 rebounds and 8 assists.
Kendrick Nunn added 18 points while 4 other Miami players finished with double-digit tallies.
Antetokounmpo delivered a highlight reel moment with his improvised tip-in to tie it up at 121-121.
Down by two with 3 seconds remaining, the Bucks inbounded to Khris Middleton who launched a long-range effort from the perimeter.
With the shot falling short, Antetokounmpo collected in mid-air and dropped the ball into the basket to force overtime.
However the Heat proved the stronger in overtime, outscoring the Bucks 10-5 to close out the win.
Miami coach Erik Spoelstra praised the "guts and perseverance" of his team's second-half fightback following the win.
"We did it the hard way but so what?" Spoelstra said. "It's never easy on the road against a team like the Bucks."
"Guys made some big-time plays in the second half. The intensity and urgency went up a level at the start of the 3rd quarter.
"If you want to beat one of these teams on their home floor you have to play a lot harder than we did in the first half. And we did, it was one inspiring play after another."
Butler missed Wednesday's season-opening win as well after his girlfriend gave birth to a baby girl. The Heat were also missing power forward James Johnson and shooting guard Dion Waiters.
In Detroit, Tobias Harris finished with 29 points and Al Horford added 23 as the Philadelphia 76ers bagged their second win of the season with a 117-111 defeat of the Pistons.
Ben Simmons had 13 points and 10 assists for the Sixers, who were missing the injured Joel Embiid after the two-time All-Star sprained an ankle in last Wednesday's win over Boston. – Rappler.com