Jimmy Butler’s two-way show powers Heat to claw first blood win vs Celtics in ECF opener


Photo: Miami Heat/Twitter

In courtesy of their second-half rally, the Miami Heat marvelously take Game 1 against the Boston Celtics, 123-116, in the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals this Wednesday.

The red-hot Heat fought back after being down 66-57 at halftime and established a furious franchise playoff-record 46-point third frame points to stun the C’s in the second-half. They entered the fourth quarter with an 11-point edge and went on to survive over Boston’s late comeback attempts.

Jimmy Butler is him once again, posting a splendid two-way display with 35 points (23 in second-half), five boards, seven assists and a career playoff-high six steals. This marks his second career road playoff game with 30 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals, joining the great Michael Jordan as the only other player to do it twice on the road since steals were first tracked in the 1973-74 campaign (per ESPN Stats & Info).

Butler buried a clutch long trey with 1:02 left to completely snatched the comeback hopes of the entire TD Garden crowd and pull the home court advantage at the side of Miami. 

The All-Star swingman received plenty of help from Bam Adebayo’s efficient 20 points, eight boards and five assists, while the likes of Max Strus, Kyle Lowry, Gabe Vincent and Caleb Martin amazingly churned 15 markers with three treys each.

The Heat were laser-focused from downtown, shooting 51.6 percent from the field (16-of-31 threes). Collectively, they shot 54.1 percent out of their 85 field goal totals.

Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with his 31 points and seven boards, but was completely passive down the stretch. With Boston down by just five with 2:58 remaining, he proceeded to commit three critical turnovers, including back-to-back traveling violations, that ultimately robbed his team to deliver a late run.

Jaylen Brown had 22 points, nine boards and five assists. Malcolm Brogdon added 19 bench points to go with two boards in Boston’s losing effort.

Game 2 is set on Friday with the Celtics looking to respond and evade being down 0-2 off their home turf.

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here