James leads Heat over Bucks and into next round

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 29, 2013 at 2:26 am •  Published: April 29, 2013
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MILWAUKEE (AP) — After getting treatment "around the clock" for two days, Dwyane Wade tested his aching right knee in warm-ups before Game 4.

It still hurt.

"I could have pushed through it," he said. "But my teammates told me if it's hurtin', they got it."

The Miami Heat reminded everyone Sunday why they're heavy favorites to win a second straight NBA title. Despite Wade being reduced to a spectator, the Heat completed their sweep of the Milwaukee Bucks and advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Heat never trailed in their 88-77 victory, finishing the first-round series with a fourth straight double-digit win.

LeBron James did most of the work with 30 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Ray Allen added 16 points, the third game in the series he reached double figures, and also had seven rebounds. Mario Chalmers had eight rebounds and six assists.

"We're a good basketball team. That's nothing that's a secret," Wade said. "We're not a one-man show, a two-man, a three-man (show). We're a basketball team."

The Heat won't play again until Saturday, at the earliest, facing the winner of the Brooklyn-Chicago series. While the extended time off provides a much-needed break for Wade, who is still recovering from the three bone bruises that forced him to miss six games near the end of the regular season, this is no vacation for the Heat. They won't be spending the week lounging in South Beach or jetting off to some exotic location.

They'll be working, trying to get even better.

"That won't be a problem," James said. "We've got an opportunity to rest because we took care of business, but our business is not done. The only thing we guaranteed ourselves is the next round. That's it."

Miami knew it would get a spirited effort Sunday from the Bucks, who were hoping to extend their first playoff appearance in three years even if it was only for a few more days.

After the Heat raced out to an 11-point lead in the first half, the Bucks steadily chipped away and were within a basket or two for most of the third quarter. When Mike Dunleavy drained a 3 and Monta Ellis scored on a floater with 9:34 left in the game, Miami's lead was down to 69-67.

"We knew they were going to come out and play as hard as they could and with as much desperation as they could to try and continue series," James said.

But James was even more determined.

When Ellis missed a free throw, failing to convert the three-point play, James grabbed the rebound and directed a 19-5 run in which he had a hand in every single score. First he fed Allen, who knocked down — what else? — a 3. After J.J. Redick missed a long jumper, James found an open Chalmers for another 3 that gave the Heat a 75-67 lead with 8:27 left.

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