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BASKETBALL

Jennings helps Bucks handle Heat

Brandon Jennings netted a team-high 25 points to go with seven assists and four steals, as the Milwaukee Bucks used a huge fourth quarter to top the Miami Heat, 104-85, on Saturday at the Bradley Center.

Luc Mbah a Moute connected on 8-of-15 from the field for 19 points to go with seven rebounds, while Mike Dunleavy added 18 points, nine rebounds and six assists for the Bucks, who have won three of their last four.

Larry Sanders scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Monta Ellis donated 14 points and nine assists in the victory.

Dwyane Wade returned to action after serving a 1-game suspension for striking Bobcats guard Ramon Sessions and dropped 24 points with six rebounds, while LeBron James netted a game-high 26 points to go with seven assists and six rebounds, but it wasn't enough for the Heat, who have lost back-to-back games for just the second time this season.

"We played pretty good defense, but we turned the ball over 20-plus times," James admitted. "That's not going to be winning basketball."

Chris Bosh donated 12 points and 16 boards in the losing cause.

Trailing 56-44 entering the third quarter, the Heat got back into the game with a 16-2 surge, capped by an easy layup from James to grab a 60-58 lead with 6:03 on the clock.

Ersan Ilyasova put in a layup to tie things at 60, but the defending champs then ripped off an 11-2 surge to take a 71-62 lead with 2:40 to play in the frame.

The Bucks scored the final seven points of the quarter to head into the fourth trailing, 71-69.

In the fourth, the Bucks exploded for 35 points, while only allowing the Heat to score 14. The hosts shot 12-of-23 from the floor and 4-of-6 from beyond the arc, maxing out their lead at 21 en route to the runaway victory.

"We once again showed some good resolve out there and came back and got it," Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles said of his team closing out the game.

Milwaukee got out to a quick start, hitting five of its first eight shots from the floor to jump out to an 11-5 lead. James put a halt to the early run with a slam off a nice feed from Wade, but the Bucks scored the next five points to open a 16-7 advantage with 6:12 on the first-quarter clock.

The Heat hung around as a corner 3-ball by Mario Chalmers cut the deficit to two with 2:29 to go in the frame, but the Bucks held a 25-20 lead after one.

The Bucks stayed in front for most of the second quarter, but a layup by Bosh cut the deficit to 43-37 with 4:45 to play before the half.

Milwaukee responded with an 11-2 surge, capped by a deep 3-ball from Ellis with 1:58 left to widen the lead to 54-39. The hosts led by a comfortable 56-44 margin at halftime.

Game Notes

Miami had won four of its last five games in Milwaukee ... The Heat also lost back-to-back games to Washington and New York from Dec. 4-6 ... Milwaukee shot 40.8 percent from the floor and 16-of-17 from the free throw line ... The Heat made just 15-of-24 from the charity stripe and turned the ball over 21 times which led to 25 Bucks points.