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Milwaukee at Miami

Heat handle Bucks, stay atop Eastern Conference standings

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MIAMI -- LeBron James is dealing with a few aches and pains, which obviously is not the best news for the Miami Heat with two weeks left in the regular season.

Come game time, though, nothing seems to be ailing him.

Bringing the crowd out of its seats with a pair of highlight-reel dunks in the first half, then drilling a deep 3-pointer to end the third quarter, James was his typical effective self on Wednesday night. He led Miami with 17 points, and the Heat stayed atop the Eastern Conference with a wire-to-wire 96-77 victory against the Milwaukee Bucks.

"If I feel like I can give something, I've got to be out there for my teammates," James said. "It's my obligation to be out there for them. I'm dealing with a few things, but for me to sit out, I have to be dealing with a lot more."

Chris Bosh scored 15 and Mario Chalmers scored 14 for the Heat.

Ramon Sessions scored 19 points for Milwaukee, which got 14 from Jeff Adrien, 11 from Brandon Knight and 10 from John Henson. Zaza Pachulia grabbed 16 rebounds in 26 minutes for the NBA-worst Bucks, who have now had 11 games this season in which they never led.

The Bucks fell to 14-61 with seven games remaining and are now only one loss away from tying the franchise record for most defeats in a season.

As of now, James doesn't plan on sitting out any of Miami's final eight games, and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said he probably wouldn't even think about any strategy to get him some rest for at least another week -- a stance that can't come as a surprise, considering the East No. 1 seed is hardly secure. With the win, Miami (52-22, .703) remained percentage points ahead of Indiana (53-23, .697) in the East race.

The Pacers beat Detroit 101-94 earlier Wednesday.

"It's tempting to start to look ahead. We're only two weeks away," Spoelstra said. "But there's so much basketball left in these two weeks. And it is very compelling at this time of year, and we are trying to accomplish some things. So as guys start to get back into the lineup we want to take a step forward as a group. And there's a process to that."

At some point, that process will presumably include getting Dwyane Wade, Ray Allen and Greg Oden back into the lineup. Wade missed his 23rd game of the season, his fourth straight with a hamstring problem. The Heat are 11-1 in the last 12 games that Wade has missed.

Allen has been sidelined by a flu bug that struck his entire family, though he's nearing a return. Oden has been sidelined by back spasms, with Spoelstra saying he's also close to getting back.

Milwaukee opened the fourth quarter with six straight points, cutting Miami's lead to 14 and getting the Heat to call time-out.

Whatever doubt existed at that point, if any, didn't last long.

Norris Cole snapped Miami's scoreless drought with a beat-the-shot-clock 3-pointer as he was leaning to his right with 8:35 left, Rashard Lewis swished another 3 on the next Heat possession to restore the 20-point cushion, and that basically ensured James would remain in his warmups for the rest of the evening.

Notes

The Bucks led the Heat for a total of 2 minutes, 21 seconds this season -- in three games. ... Miami's Udonis Haslem earned a technical late in the half after a bit too much physicality with Adrien under the basket. Haslem also got his 1,500th career offensive rebound. ... The Heat moved to 30-6 at home, the seventh time in franchise history they've won that many in Miami. ... Milwaukee's O.J. Mayo missed the game with an ankle injury.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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LeBron James contributes in many ways for the Heat against the Bucks, handing out eight assists along with his 17 points.  (USATSI)
LeBron James contributes in many ways for the Heat against the Bucks, handing out eight assists along with his 17 points. (USATSI)

Scoreboard
Milwaukee (14-61)1919192077
Miami (52-22) «3323211996
MIL:R. Sessions 19 Pts
MIL:Z. Pachulia 16 Reb
MIL:R. Sessions 6 Ast
MIA:L. James 17 Pts
MIA:C. Andersen 7 Reb
MIA:L. James 8 Ast
Players of the Game
MilwaukeeMiami

Ramon Sessions

LeBron James
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
19361748
Milwaukee
R. Sessions, PG456-126-636119
B. Knight, PG424-111-152211
J. Adrien, PF347-150-072214
K. Middleton, PF332-100-04244
Z. Pachulia, C253-52-216428
G. Antetokounmpo, SG222-50-02115
E. Udoh, PF161-30-02112
J. Henson, C155-90-010310
M. Raduljica, C61-10-01002
D. Stephens, SG31-20-01002
C. Delfino, SGDid Not Play
E. Ilyasova, SFDid Not Play
O. Mayo, SGDid Not Play
L. Sanders, CDid Not Play
N. Wolters, PGDid Not Play
D. Stephens, FDid Not Play
Totals 32-739-942181677
 43.8%100.0% 
Miami
M. Chalmers, PG336-80-143214
L. James, SF297-122-548017
C. Bosh, PF267-130-002115
T. Douglas, PG263-73-47329
U. Haslem, PF253-50-05016
J. Jones, SF253-60-02019
N. Cole, PG253-90-02317
C. Andersen, PF182-44-47018
R. Lewis, PF163-60-03237
S. Battier, SF60-00-01000
M. Beasley, PF61-50-00102
J. Hamilton, C61-20-00002
R. Allen, SGDid Not Play
D. Wade, SGDid Not Play
G. Oden, CDid Not Play
Totals 39-779-1435221296
 50.6%64.3% 
Other Games
Det 94 Final
Ind 101
Brook 81 Final
NY 110
Cle 119 Final
Orl 98
Char 123 Final
Phi 93
Bos 92 Final
Wash 118
Hou 103 Final
Tor 107
Chi 105 Final
Atl 92
Mem 88 Final
Min 102
GS 90 Final
SA 111
NO 107 Final
Den 137
LAC 112 Final
Pho 108
LAL 102 Final
Sac 107