MILWAUKEE – Terry Stotts’ home debut trumped Dwyane Wade’s homecoming Saturday night.

Bobby Simmons and Michael Redd each scored 23 points as the Milwaukee Bucks recorded their third straight comeback win over a playoff team with a 105-100 victory over the Miami Heat.

Wade’s 21 points led the short-handed Heat, who blew a nine-point lead in the fourth quarter to the delight of the friendly crowd at the Bradley Center, where Wade led Marquette to the Final Four in 2003.

Wade misfired on three critical free throws in the final 34 seconds, helping the Bucks ice it.

Jason Williams added 18 points for Miami, including a 3-pointer that made it 103-100 with three seconds left, but Redd was fouled with 2.9 seconds to go and sank both free throws before streamers and confetti filled the floor.

Under their new coach, the Bucks are 3-0 for the first time in four seasons and awash in optimism after an eventful offseason that is already bearing fruit.

In his first regular-season game at the Bradley Center since bruising his spinal cord in a hard spill on Feb. 24, 2003, T.J. Ford scored 13 points and dished out 11 assists. Jamaal Magloire, acquired in a trade last week, added 14 points.

Shaquille O’Neal, who sprained his right ankle Thursday night against Indiana, missed his first game of what is expected to be an absence of between two and four weeks.

“I think it’s easy for me to motivate our team to play because the respect (we) have for Alonzo Mourning and Gary Payton and Dwyane Wade and Antoine Walker,” Stotts said before tip-off. “You’ve got four guys who have been All-Stars.”

Still, the Heat are hurting.

Projected starting small forward James Posey is out with an injured thumb, reserve forward Shandon Anderson has been sidelined by back spasms and isn’t traveling with the team and backup center Michael Doleac hasn’t made his season debut yet because of an injured calf.

And Shaq is relegated to being a spectator.

The Heat nevertheless built a 75-68 lead before Redd sank a 3-pointer from the top of the circle after tauntingly dribbling the ball through his legs while Payton was guarding him, then made a nifty underhanded layup to pull Milwaukee to 75-73 heading into the fourth quarter.

Miami restored its cushion to as many as nine points early in the fourth before back-to-back baskets by Simmons pulled Milwaukee to 87-83 with six minutes left.

Ford tied it at 89 when he stole the ball from Wade at one end and raced all the way for a layup with 4:23 left, and Simmons gave Milwaukee its first lead of the second half at 94-92 with a jumper from the left baseline with 21/2 minutes remaining, capping a 15-5 run.

The Bucks only made one trip to the line in the first half, when they were outshot 11-2 from the stripe, leading to a 52-49 halftime deficit.

Notes: This marked the Bucks’ 1,500th regular season home game. … Stotts said he hopes to have F Joe Smith (knee) back Tuesday night against Golden State. … Although O’Neal made the trip with his team so that he could stay on a regimented rehab schedule, he wasn’t on the bench during the game or in the locker room before the game.

AP-ES-11-05-05 2315EST


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