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Milwaukee Bucks cool Miami Heat to stay at third in NBA Eastern Conference

By. Japheth Bandi

 MILWAUKEE -- As the 72-game regular season winds down to its final two days, It was business as usual in Milwaukee.

 Kris Middleton fired 21 points and Jrue Holiday added 20 with 10 assists and the Bucks ambushed the visiting Miami Heat, 122-108, on Saturday night (Sunday morning RP time) at the Fiserv Forum.

 Even with the Bucks safely in the playoffs, they still fielded all their starters who played their regular minutes. 

 "We are not worried about too many other things. We're not worried about the future. We worry about ourselves now, find ways to get better. But most importantly, just being out there to compete. That's what we love to do and that's what we want to do," Middleton said.

 Two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo logged in 34 minutes of action and finished with 15 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Brook Lopez added 18 points and six rebounds.

 The Bucks, who exploded with 44 first quarter points, took a 70-51 halftime lead and were never threatened. They shot 53.5 percent from the field (46-of-86) and hit 13 of 35 threes (37.1 percent). Milwaukee also converted 17 of 24 free throws while Miami settlled with just 6-for-8 from the charity stripe.

 If the standings hold following tomorrow's final day of the regular season, the Bucks at No.3 could meet the No.6 Heat in the opening round of the 2021 playoffs. That's not a concern for the Bucks, who lost to the Heat in year's buble 4-1.

 "It's more about being consistent going into the playoffs, no matter the opponent or who we're playing," said Holiday, who moved to Milwaukee from the New Orleans Pelicans during this past off-season. 

 Kendrick Nunn led Miami with 31 points while Duncan Robinson fired five 3s to finish with 17. Goran Dragic, Nemanja Bjelica and Trevor Ariza combined for 39 points but the Heat missed the servies of All-Star Jimmy Butler who sat out with back stiffness.

 FASTBREAK. The Bucks welcomed 3,280 fans at the Fiserv Forum, which represents only 19 percent of the arena's capacity of 17,341. But beginning on next Sunday's playoffs the allowed attendance will be increased to 50 percent capacity.

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