Bucks roll Heat, go 2-0 up in NBA playoffs

·3-min read

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 31 points while Bryn Forbes led Milwaukee's scorching start from 3-point range to lead the Bucks to a 132-98 trouncing of the Miami Heat in the NBA playoff series.

Milwaukee shot 22 of 53 from 3-point range - including 15 of 29 in the first half - and never trailed while leading by as many as 36 points. The Bucks' 22 3-pointers were their highest total ever in a playoff game and now lead the first-round playoff series 2-0.

Forbes scored 22 points and went 6 of 9 on 3-point attempts in Monday's home win.

The Bucks are attempting to oust the team that beat them 4-1 in the second round last year. Game 3 takes place Thursday in Miami.

Milwaukee's two victories in this season couldn't have looked much more different.

The Bucks needed Khris Middleton's tie-breaking jumper with 0.5 seconds left in overtime to pull out a 109-107 victory in Game 1, which neither team ever led by more than eight points. Milwaukee essentially put away Game 2 in the first quarter as its 3-point attack went from fizzling to sizzling.

Milwaukee had shot 5 of 31 from behind the arc and made its fewest 3-pointers of the season on Saturday. The Bucks were 10 of 15 on 3-point attempts in the first quarter alone Monday.

The Bucks led 46-20 at the end of the first quarter and 78-51 at halftime as they posted the highest first-half point total in their playoff history.

The hottest shooter on the floor was Forbes, who signed with Milwaukee in November after spending four seasons with the San Antonio Spurs. Forbes came off the bench to score 14 points in the first quarter while shooting 5 of 6 overall and 4 of 5 on 3-pointers.

Middleton finished with 17 points and Pat Connaughton had 15 while shooting 5 of 9 from beyond the arc. Antetokounmpo had 13 rebounds and six assists to go along with his 31 points.

Jrue Holiday's 15 assists were one off the Bucks playoff record that is shared by Paul Pressey and Oscar Robertson. Holiday also had 11 points and seven rebounds.

Miami's Dewayne Dedmon had 19 points and nine rebounds to lead the Heat in both categories. Goran Dragic had 18 points and Bam Adebayo added 16.

Meanwhile Nikola Jokic poured in 38 points as the Denver Nuggets earned a 128-109 over the Portland Trail Blazers to level their series at 1-1.

The Serbian centre, who also claimed eight rebounds and handed out five assists, had to go big to nullify the deep threat of Portland's Damian Lillard, whose eight three-pointers by half-time tied the league play-off record.

The physical battle - Denver received three of the game's four technical fouls, including one on Jokic - saw the Trail Blazers rally in the fourth quarter before succumbing to their Western Conference rivals, with Lillard's 42-point haul proving in vain.

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