On Friday, the Miami Heat defeated the Boston Celts 111-103, forcing a winner-take-all matchup for a spot in the NBA Finals. In the playoffs, Jimmy Butler set a career-high with 47 points, and the Miami Heat forced a winner-take-all duel for a spot in the NBA Finals.
The Heat have tied the Eastern Conference finals at 3-3, setting up a seventh-game confrontation in Miami on Sunday. “We have a good idea of what we’re capable of.” Butler remarked, “We get to take it back to the crib and win game seven.”
“We were sure we’d come in here and get one.” We’re sure that we’ll win this one as well.”
The winner of Sunday’s game will face the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, which begin on Thursday in San Francisco.
In 46 minutes, Butler made 16 of 29 field shots, including 4-of-8 from 3-point range, and 11 of 11 free throws, while also grabbing nine rebounds, handing out eight assists, and blocking a shot.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra stated, “Jimmy just brought his competitive will tonight.” “And it was a will that wouldn’t let us go down without a fight.”
Butler remarked that he was able to put out such a strong effort due to his faith.
“My team… my coaches have a lot of faith in me,” Butler added. “They give me the confidence to simply go out there and hoop and play basketball the proper way.”
Butler overcame a sore right knee to score 40 points for the fourth time in the playoffs, and he credited a motivational message from former Miami great Dwyane Wade.
Butler remarked, “He was telling me I could do this.” “My knee is a little bruised, but no one seems to mind.” It meant the world to me that you went out there and continued to establish your legacy.”
The Heat is looking for their second trip to the NBA Finals in three seasons after falling to the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2020 NBA Finals. Miami hasn’t won the NBA championship since 2013.
The Celtics are hoping to return to the NBA Finals for the first time since losing to the Lakers in 2010. The Celtics haven’t won an NBA championship since 2008.
Jayson Tatum led Boston with 30 points, followed by Derrick White (22) and Jaylen Brown (21 points) (20 points).
“We’re irritated,” White expressed his dissatisfaction. “Everyone is fired up to go on that plane and fly down to Florida and win.”
Before fouling out, Miami’s Kyle Lowry finished with 18 points and 10 assists.
“Determination. Lowry’s aura could be seen in his face, attitude, and demeanor, according to Miami’s Bam Adebayo. “Everyone was rooting for us to win.”
The Heat led by 13 points in the third quarter, but the Celtics rallied, and White nailed a right-corner 3-pointer with 4:43 left to cap a 10-2 Celtics run and give Boston a 97-94 lead.
Butler’s 3-pointer with 2:06 left gave Miami a 102-99 lead, and with 1:25 left, P.J. Tucker added a steal, a rebound, and three free throws to give Miami a 105-99 lead.
Tatum made two free shots, but Brown was called for an offensive foul on Boston’s next possession, and the Heat won the game with free throws down the line.
Ime Udoka, the Celtics’ coach, described the game as “overall sloppy basketball on both sides.” “That’s not going to work.”
Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors projected that the Warriors will face Boston in the championship game, according to Tucker.
“Everyone said we were out,” Adebayo said. “Everyone assumed the series was already finished. “That was enough to get us going.”
Butler had 14 points, five rebounds, four assists, and two steals in the first quarter for a total of 21 points in the first half.
“He got the ball rolling. “We just didn’t know what to say to him,” Brown added. “On Sunday, we’ll do a better job.”
Tucker warned them it wouldn’t be simple.
Butler, Tucker added, “has those days where he’s just not going to let us lose.” “Everything for everyone else comes from his aggression.”
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