Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Despite an off night from their two stars, the Milwaukee Bucks hung around.
But all it took was one huge Miami Heat burst to squash any hopes of an upset.
LeBron James had 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists in Miami's 98-86 win over the Bucks in Game 2 of this Eastern Conference first-round series.
In the blink of an eye, the Heat went on a 12-0 run to begin the fourth to turn a three-point lead into a 15-point cushion.
They never looked back.
"It was a quick squirmish and an explosion," Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra said of the run.
Dwyane Wade tallied 21 points and seven boards for the Heat, who took a 2-0 edge in the best-of-seven set.
After combining for 48 points on 18-of-39 shooting in Game 1, Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis totaled just 15 points on a 5-of-22 clip. Neither player recorded a field goal (0-for-5) in the first half, but the Bucks trailed just 47-43 at the break.
Ersan Ilyasova registered 21 points and six rebounds for Milwaukee, which will host Game 3 on Thursday.
"In two games now, we seem to have a stretch of about 4-5-6 minutes where they kind of get away from us. We have to figure out how to keep that from happening and keep ourselves in the game," Bucks interim head coach Jim Boylan said.
The Heat ratcheted up defensively and got their transition game going to start the fourth.
After Chris Andersen converted a three-point play, James rebounded an Ish Smith miss and went coast-to-coast for a layup. Norris Cole then stole the ball away from Smith and was fouled in transition. He hit both foul shots before Ray Allen stole a pass from Ellis, which led to an Andersen layup following a couple Heat misses in close.
Jennings then missed a short floater and James drove into the paint before passing it off into the right corner for Cole, who nailed a 3-pointer to push the spread to 80-65 with 9:38 left.
"The second unit came in with a great deal of energy," Spoelstra said.
Milwaukee never got within single digits the rest of the way and the margin reached its peak at 19 when Joel Anthony nailed a jumper to make it 98-79 with 2:02 remaining.
Earlier, Ilyasova netted 12 points in the opening eight-plus minutes and his three-point play and layup on back-to-back possessions gave the Bucks a 20-15 lead.
Miami outscored Milwaukee 10-3 to close the frame and took a 25-23 edge into the second before pushing the lead to four heading into the break.
James, Wade and Mario Chalmers combined to go 15-of-19 in the first half, but the rest of the squad went just 3-of-17.
The Heat appeared to establish control of the contest late in the third following consecutive Chris Bosh buckets to give them a 68-60 lead, their largest spread of the night to that point.
Milwaukee, however, clawed back. Mike Dunleavy hit a jumper, Jennings split a pair of foul shots and got his layup to drop to end the third and pull the Bucks within 68-65.
Miami is 10-0 when going up 2-0 in a playoff series ... Jennings' first field goal came with 4:01 left in the third ... The Bucks have dropped 21 of their last 29 playoff tilts ... Miami held a 16-9 edge in second-chance points.
04/23 23:13:46 ET
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