NBA Playoffs: Jimmy Butler, Heat fire against Milwaukee

Jimmy Butler scored 27 of his career playoff-high 40 points in the second half as the Miami Heat beat the Milwaukee Bucks 115-104 in the opening game of their Eastern Conference semi-final playoff series.

Butler carried Miami on his back down the stretch, scoring 13 of their final 16 points in the NBA’s quarantine bubble in Orlando, Florida.

Butler is just the third player in franchise history with a 40-point game in the playoffs, joining LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

It will hurt Philadelphia fans to see Butler dominate like he did. The 76ers imploded and were bundled out of the postseason in the first round, resulting in the sacking of coach Brett Brown.

Butler joined the Sixers in 2018 but was traded to the Heat last year — and his former teammates miss him.

After the Heat’s win, Sixers centre Joel Embiid tweeted: “Jimmy Butler #TooGood.”

Washington Post basketball writer Marc Stein also made the link.

Man, Philly …

Goran Dragic added 27 points as he helped the Heat clamp down defensively which set the stage for Butler’s offensive heroics.

With 52 seconds left, Dragic made a clutch defensive play by stealing the ball from Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo to preserve Miami’s seven point lead, 111-104.

Bam Adebayo had 12 points and 17 rebounds and rookie Tyler Herro tallied 11 points for the Heat, who swept the Indiana Pacers in the previous round.

Miami found a way to contain reigning NBA most valuable player Antetokounmpo, who was limited to just 18 points.

Khris Middleton scored 28 points and Brooks Lopez had 24 for the Bucks, who also lost the opening game of their first round series before storming back to beat the Orlando Magic in five games.

The winner will face either the defending champion Toronto Raptors or the Boston Celtics in the NBA’s final four.

Game two is Wednesday in Orlando.

Butler was on fire.Source:AFP


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