Found January 22, 2012 on Fox Sports Florida:
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MIAMI - For Chris Bosh, it was a "stinker." Erik Spoelstra said it was "sloppy." Shane Battier called it a "clunker." As for LeBron James, he was no mood for descriptive words. "I don't even know what that means," James said when told Battier's word of choice had been "clunker." Well, LeBron, it doesn't mean anything good. It was that type of night for the Miami Heat. After winning three straight games over upper-echelon teams by an average margin of 18 points, the Heat were manhandled 91-82 by mediocre Milwaukee on Sunday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. Perhaps the only good news for the Heat (11-5) is they won't have to listen for at least a bit that they're allegedly better without Dwyane Wade. The guard missed his fourth straight game with a sprained right ankle. Overall, Miami now is 6-1 this season without him. To show how ugly of a defeat it was for Miami, perhaps it's best to look at Milwaukee's numbers. And they weren't any good. The Bucks (6-9) shot 35 percent, including 5-of-30 from three-point range (16.7 percent). At one point, Milwaukee missed 16 straight three-pointers. Guard Brandon Jennings led the Bucks with 23 points, and he shot 5-of-20. All of this, and the Heat still lost. "I've played in this league a long time, and today was your protypical early-game Sunday loss by the home team," Battier, a Heat forward, said of the 6 p.m. local start, which followed Miami having played Saturday while the Bucks had been off since Friday. "A lack of energy by our team. A lack of energy in the building. We just couldn't get anything going. It's just a tough day." That pretty much sums it up. And one has to figure the Heat, even though they're heavy favorites to win the NBA title, are entitled to a clunker or two this season, especially during a season in which 66 games have been sardined into four months due to the lockout. Heck, during their record 72-10 season of 1995-96, Chicago actually lost a game to expansion Toronto. "You're going to have stinkers if you have a whole training camp," said Bosh, a Heat forward. "If you have 82 games, not all of them are going to be good. I have been playing long enough to know that." The nine-year man has been around long enough to know that overall he had a stinker. While his 23 points might have looked good, he turned the ball over a career-high eight times. "I know I didn't really have a good game taking care of the basketball at all," said Bosh, enough of a stand-up guy that he brought up his turnovers even before he was asked. The Heat had 22 turnovers. That's what really irritated Miami coach Spoelstra. "Obviously, we didn't take care of the ball," he said. The Heat shot 37.3 percent and had just nine assists, one shy of their franchise record low. James had more than half of them with five. The Miami forward also had game highs of 28 points and 13 rebounds. But he couldn't do it by himself. "Going into the game, we knew we were going to have to have some energy, but we didn't have any," James said. "It was a long week for us, and that's a tough back to back for us less than 24 hours." James looked to have more energy than most of his teammates, but he sure is ready for a day off. The Heat were playing their fourth game in six nights, and they hadn't had a day with no game or practice since Jan. 14. "I know I really need one," said James, whose Heat will get Monday off in preparation for Tuesday's home game against his old gang, Cleveland. "I think the rest of the guys on the team need a day off." The Heat, though, weren't too tired to jabber at the officials. In one crazy 30-second stretch in the second quarter, Mike Miller, Joel Anthony and assistant coach Ron Rothstein all picked up technicals. Chippy play continued in the second half. In the waning seconds, Heat guard Mario Chalmers got a flagrant foul for sending Jennings flying out of bounds, something that isn't all that hard since he's 169 pounds. Minutes earlier, James had been knocked to the floor when Bucks center Andrew Bogut inadvertently whacked him on the head going for a rebound. "He hit me in the nose," said James, who was on the floor for half a minute or so. "He grazed my nose a little bit. I'm glad he didn't hit me square. I'd probably still be on the floor right now." When James went down, it sounded like a clunk. And even if it wasn't James' word choice, the game by the Heat sure was a clunker. Chris Tomasson can be reached at christomasson@hotmail.com or on Twitter @christomasson
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