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Williams, Bogut buoy Bucks past Heat

Jan 10, 2008 - 5:02 AM By Nick Berenz PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MILWAUKEE (Ticker) - Mo Williams scored a season-high 35 points and Andrew Bogut chipped in 17 and eight rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Miami Heat, 98-92, on Wednesday.

Milwaukee, which defeated Miami for the second time in the last eight days, won its third straight game. The Heat dropped their season-high ninth consecutive contest.

Williams continued to burn the team that pursued him as a free agent this offseason. In the 103-98 win in Miami last Wednesday, Williams again led the Bucks with 25 points and nine assists.

Williams scored nine quick points as the Bucks raced out to a 16-2 lead in the game's first six minutes. After trailing by as many as 15 in the first half, the Heat closed to within 55-50 at intermission.

"Pride kicked in because we kept taking punches and then countered, took punches and then countered," Williams said. "I was trying to be a little bit more aggressive out there."

The Bucks held the Heat scoreless for the first 5:09 of the third quarter and increased their lead to 62-50. But Miami, led by Dwyane Wade, went on a 16-6 run to close out the quarter and get within 68-66.

"We had a series of problems throughout the game that they had a lot to do with," Heat coach Pat Riley said. "Unfortunately, we weren't able to make enough plays to get it done in the end.

Wade led the shorthanded Heat with 34 points, nine rebounds and five assists.

"I felt like we got off to a good start, executed well early," Bucks coach Larry Krystkowiak said. "We kind of witnessed the D-Wade show, he and J-Will (Jason Williams) kept them in the game."

After trailing by as many as 14 with just over six minutes remaining, Wade scored six consecutive points and Jason Williams' 3-pointer with 4:13 remaining cut the Bucks' lead to 85-80. Williams finished the game with a season-high 23 points off the bench.

"My rhythm is starting to come back, I was able to do some things with the ball in my hand as much as it was," Wade said.

Mo Williams and the Bucks, however, had enough to hold off the Heat down the stretch. Williams stretched Milwaukee's lead back to six with a critical 3-pointer with 2:52 remaining.

"Collectively, we are getting it done on the offensive end," said Mo Williams, who finished with a season-high 48 minutes. "Did I play 48? I could play 48 more right now."

Both teams were missing key offensive players. Milwaukee was without Michael Redd, who missed his fourth consecutive game with a deep thigh bruise, and Miami's Shaquille O'Neal missed his seventh straight with a hip injury.

"Sometimes we look for him (Redd) too much and put too much pressure on him," Bogut said. "Now we're moving the ball and getting everybody involved really well."

In addition, the Heat were dealing with the distraction of whether Riley would return as coach next season. Prior to Wednesday's game, Riley refuted a report that he would step down at season's end to focus on his duties as team president.

Riley declined to comment after the game.

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