The Milwaukee Bucks weren’t having a very good game against the Miami Heat on Tuesday. In fact, they trailed 79-65 through three quarters and seemed to have little chance of winning the game.
And then the fourth quarter happened.
The Bucks outscored the Heat 24-9 in the final frame, and Khris Middleton hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give Milwaukee the 89-88 win.
“It was unbelievable,” Bucks center Miles Plumlee said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “The whole arena blew up.”
Zaza Pachulia made an unlikely save on a loose ball while falling out of bounds and found Middleton, who somehow got the shot off just before the buzzer.
“I didn’t even think Zaza was going to be able to save the ball, yet alone get it to an open man,” Plumlee said. “And it didn’t even look like Khris could get it off – and he made it. So it looked unreal.”
The Heat players just stood there. Some put their hands on their head in disbelief.
“I’m sure they were pretty stunned,” Plumlee said. “They played a good game, but we kept fighting there at the very end and gave ourselves an opportunity.”
Milwaukee trailed 85-71 but went on a 14-0 run to tie the game with 1:20 to play. Five Bucks finished in double figures, including starters Ersan Ilyasova, who scored a team-high 19 points, Giannis Antetokounmpo (16 points), Pachulia (14) and Middleton (13).
Jerryd Bayless had 10 points, five assists and two steals off the bench, while Plumlee had eight points, four rebounds, one assist and one block.
“I think we just focused on coming in, bringing energy, playing within your role and helping this team any way you can,” Plumlee said. “We both came through tonight.”
Milwaukee (35-36), currently the No. 6 seed in the East, hosts the Pacers (30-40) on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET.
Plumlee, 26, is averaging 4.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game this season and has enjoyed playing for Jason Kidd.
“I love it, honestly,” Plumlee said. “Everybody stays ready, stays positive and plays for one another – and that’s a big testament to Coach Kidd and the way he’s able to manage his personnel.”
While Plumlee is of course focused on helping Milwaukee make the playoffs, he’s also trying to keep up with March Madness. Plumlee won a national title at Duke in 2010, and his little brother, Marshall, is a junior on this year’s Blue Devils team. No. 1 Duke (31-4) plays No. 5 Utah (26-8) in the Sweet 16 this Friday.
Marshall, a 7-0 center, averaged 2.5 points and 2.5 rebounds for Duke this season. He plans to enter the U.S. Army after graduation.
“He’s going to be in the reserves,” Plumlee said. “He still has a year of eligibility basketball-wise.”
Plumlee hasn’t been able to catch every Duke game this season, but hopefully he gets a chance to watch the Sweet 16. The Bucks are off Friday.
“I try (to watch Marshall), but sometimes we’re playing at the same time, which makes it difficult,” Plumlee said. “But I know he’s had some big games for them, so I’m proud of him for staying ready.”