Giannis, Bucks Dominate Jimmy Butler, Heat in Game 2 to Take 2-0 Series Lead

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIMay 25, 2021

MILWAUKEE, WI - MAY 24: Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks dribbles the ball during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies during Round 1, Game 2 of the 2021 NBA Playoffs on May 24, 2021 at the Fiserv Forum Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/NBAE via Getty Images).
Kamil Krzaczynski/NBAE via Getty Images

The Milwaukee Bucks took a 2-0 lead in their first-round playoff series against the Miami Heat, flying past the Heat 132-98 on Monday night at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was the leading scorer for the Bucks, but it was a strong first half from Bryn Forbes that set the tone for the third-seeded Bucks, who narrowly won Game 1 in overtime Saturday but had a historic outing on Monday. 

For the No. 6 Heat, who will have some work to do if they want to advance, Dewayne Dedmon scored 19 points, a postseason-best for the 31-year-old. 

Notable Performers

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks: 31 PTS, 13 REB, 6 AST
  • Bryn Forbes, Bucks: 22 PTS, 5 REB
  • Khris Middleton, Bucks: 17 PTS
  • Jrue Holiday, Bucks: 11 PTS, 15 AST
  • Bam Adebayo, Heat: 16 PTS, 4 AST, 3 REB
  • Dewayne Dedmon, Heat: 19 PTS, 4 REB

Historic First Half Leads Bucks 

The Bucks wasted no time on Monday, starting on an 8-0 run before forcing the Heat to call a timeout after going down 12-2 in the opening four minutes.

That quick lead was pioneered by Antetokounmpo, who logged seven points in that span.

Milwaukee Bucks @Bucks

Let it fly, Giannis!! pic.twitter.com/cHmKqHKHJV

Donte DiVincenzo was the only other Bucks player to score, logging five points in three minutes. He only scored three points in the entirety of Game 1. 

The Villanova product calmed down later in the first quarter, but Bryn Forbes stepped in to be the surprise for the second half of that frame. In five minutes off of the bench, he posted a game-high 14 points on four-of-five shooting from deep (and a good attempt from the paint). 

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Bryn Forbes has 14 PTS on 5-5 shooting 😳<br><br>Bucks are on fire. pic.twitter.com/GqmnVM3ouK

TrashTalk @TrashTalk_fr

Bryn Forbes pic.twitter.com/YDPDP0O9PG

The impressive team performance in the opening 12 minutes wasn't just enough to lead the Bucks well past the Heat. It was historic: 

Milwaukee Bucks @Bucks

The 10 first-quarter threes tied the NBA Playoff record for most threes in a quarter!! pic.twitter.com/8vEWbJoz8T

Milwaukee Bucks @Bucks

78 points are the MOST in a first half in Bucks playoff history!! ☀️ @calm pic.twitter.com/TEZSOwMkQD

By the break, Forbes was up to 19 points, and Antetokounmpo had 18. Khris Middleton was right behind them with 13 points on four-of-five shooting from the field and perfect three-of-three shooting from deep. 

The second half was mostly Antetokounmpo's show, as he ended the night with 31 points, but it was the first half slugging that mattered most in getting the Bucks ahead heading into Game 3. 

Heat Can't Climb Out of Early Hole

Where the Bucks were flying fast to get things started, the Heat were struggling early. Jimmy Butler hit his lone field goal attempt in the opening four minutes, but Bam Adebayo missed all three. 

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

😬 pic.twitter.com/LAFOfctctG

The Bucks' onslaught continued, and the Heat had little to counter with. Butler was the team's highest-scoring starter with four points, while Dewayne Dedmon was the leading scorer with nine. 

Bally Sports Sun: HEAT @BallyHEAT

D3WAYN3 D3DMON.<br><br>Dedmon has 5 quick points here in the first quarter!<br><br>📺 Bally Sports Sun<br>💻 https://t.co/RJ2qGUBKwh<br>📲 Download the new Bally Sports app!#MIAvsMIL #NBAPlayoffs #UnitedInBlack #HEATTwitter pic.twitter.com/8MAcj5Ptqn

He continued to lead the Heat into the break, compiling 13 points on five-of-six shooting. Adebayo found his stride, scoring nine points, but it was too little too late. Duncan Robinson had eight points and Butler had seven. 

Beyond their lack of scoring success, the Heat were also getting beat on the glass. They were out-rebounded 31-14 in the first half, grabbing just three offensive rebounds. 

Josiah Johnson @KingJosiah54

How Jimmy Butler walking around the Heat locker room pic.twitter.com/EnVqL2FlWZ

BetMGM 🦁 @BetMGM

Live look from the Heat locker room pic.twitter.com/byWonzRCNI

The Heat showed some signs of life early in the third, going shot for shot with the Bucks early, even as Trevor Ariza was assessed a flagrant-1 foul for an incident with Antetokounmpo. 

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

This foul by Ariza on Giannis 😬<br><br>Ariza gets hit with a flagrant pic.twitter.com/Zv0qpsSGPS

A foul by Kendrick Nunn shortly after led to three shots from the line for Middleton, giving the Bucks the momentum they needed to keep things going strong. Goran Dragic was assessed a technical foul with five minutes left to play in the quarter, putting salt in the wound for the already-down Heat and prompting Reggie Miller to call for a running clock. 

Dedmon's most productive outing since January 2019—and a career-high postseason outing—wasn't enough to pull the Heat past the Bucks, even with 18 points from Dragic and 16 from Adebayo. 

What's Next? 

The series heads to Miami for Game 3 (Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. ET on TNT).