Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 2/2/12
MILWAUKEE, Wis. -- If the Miami Heat could stop matching up with the Milwaukee Bucks, LeBron James and company might really be able to get on a roll.Miami has won eight of its last 10 games, but both of those losses came against the 10-11 Bucks, and for the second time in 10 days, Milwaukee found a way to slow down the NBA's second highest-scoring team. On Wednesday night, the Bucks came back after being down 17 points to begin the second quarter and won, 105-97."You know what you're going to get out of Scott Skiles' teams," said Heat guard Dwyane Wade, who scored 23 points after missing the first game 10 days ago. "They play hard and they protect the paint a lot. They make you finish and make it tough on you."In the Heat's first loss to Milwaukee -- which happened in Miami -- James attributed the loss to a lack of energy."Two weeks ago they came in and stole one," James said. "Well, not even stole one, they just took it."Energy wasn't the issue in the rematch, but the Heat still couldn't overcome scrappy efforts from hustle players like Ersan Ilyasova, who had 14 total rebounds, with seven coming on the offensive glass."Tonight we had a lot of energy, but they made some shots," James said. "They just play their game. They don't change."James outscored the Bucks by himself in the first quarter, 24-23, connecting on all three of his 3-point shots and making eight of nine shots. The game had early signs of a blowout, and James had the Milwaukee crowd in a roar late in the first quarter when he intercepted a long pass attempt and followed it up with a thunderous windmill dunk.But, just as Wade expected, the Bucks got on a roll."I hate to say it, but being on the road, I didn't want to go up 20 at all," Wade said. "I hate it. It's not easy playing on the road when you've got a big lead. I'm glad we weren't up 20 at halftime. I didn't want to."When you get up 20 points on the road, the home team is going to make a run and the crowd is going to get into it. Then they go on a 6-0 or 8-0 run and it seems like everything is coming down, and it's not."There were differing opinions in the Heat locker room about what happened during Milwaukee's run."For some reason, we kind of just get relaxed a little bit," said Chris Bosh, who had nine points and nine rebounds. "We do it time after time, and it hurts us. We totally got stagnant."Wade felt otherwise."I don't think we relaxed," Wade said. "They just played well. Give them credit."It was the effort plays by Ilyasova and Bucks forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute that has given Bosh headaches in both games."I remember fighting for an offensive rebound and I beat one guy, then Mbah a Moute tips it out," Bosh said. "It's little things like that, the kind of things that they do that make it tough on other teams. It's all about competing. You give yourself a better chance if you just play hard."Miami isn't the only top team that the Bucks have beat recently. In Milwaukee's last game, Kobe Bryant and the Lakers fell to Skiles' group.Other than playing the Bucks, the Heat has several big wins in their recent winning streak, including victories over the Lakers, Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs.There's just something about playing Milwaukee that keeps Miami off its game."They do a good job of keeping you out of the paint," forward Shane Battier said. "In our two losses against them, we've taken a high percentage of long jumpers. It's tough to win like that in this league."Unfortunately for the Heat, they have another game against the Bucks on Feb. 13, less than two weeks from now.Follow Paul Imig on Twitter
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