The Heat star saves the season with an epic performance at the Celtics. The decisive match tomorrow in Florida: whoever wins faces the Warriors at the Finals
Only phenomena, the real ones, do what Jimmy Butler did. With the season at risk, with a sore knee that had severely constrained him in the previous two games, he dragged Miami on his back. And he returned irresistible: 47 points, as if the pain did not exist, as if this were not the most important game of the season. Boston fell, 111-103: the title of Eastern Conference champion is assigned in race-7, at 2.30 am on the Italian night between Sunday and Monday in Florida. Whoever wins since Thursday goes to face Golden State. The Heat looked to pieces after the last two debacles, destined for an exit from the scene with many regrets. Coach Spoelstra had said that his team had the opportunity to do something historic: Butler, one who never backs down, that was enough. Boston has lost a huge chance to close the accounts: he will have to do it away, in Game-7. He will have to do something historical. Like Butler did.
JIMMY THE PHENOMENON
“Dwyane Wade called me before the game – says Butler -: he told me I could do it, that I had to forget the pain in my knee and do something legendary. I had disappointed my team in the last two games: I didn’t want to do it again” . Jimmy is like this: it is his competitive spirit that makes him special, that mental toughness of those who always play with the desire to show how great he is. He forgot the injury and attacked the game immediately, finding the feeling with the three-pointers (4 triples per target, there were 3 in all in the previous 5 games), showing his teammates that he was ready to write history. “Jimmy imposed the competitive spirit of him, the one that didn’t allow us to lose – explained Spoelstra -. In games like this you sometimes only win if your star makes a difference: Jimmy did it when we needed it most. “. Butler was phenomenal. And contagious, as always. Because Miami in this game-6 with the risk of elimination also found the real Kyle Lowry, 18 points and 10 assists after the double zero (points and assists) of the previous game: his leadership, his ability to keep his teammates calm, has made a difference. Like PJ Tucker’s desire to fight, or the triples that Strus found in the third period. Only Bam Adebayo was missing (6 points and 9 rebounds), still struggling close to the iron: he has one game left to make a difference. And Miami will need it.
Boston had cornered Miami, but failed to finish it in front of its fans. “We dug a hole from the beginning, with too many turnovers – is the thesis of coach Udoka -. Every time we went back down or we were ahead we did something wrong”. Jayson Tatum finished with 30 points and Jaylen Brown added 20, but in the fourth quarter, while Butler was raging with 17 of his 47 points, the two Boston stars produced just 8 together, shooting once each and losing overall. 5 balls. Too much for the Celtics to be able to survive the fury of Butler, the desire for Miami, despite the 11 points in the period of the unleashed Derrick White, once again at the height of the situation. Udoka chose the small quintet, not giving minutes in the fourth period to Robert Williams III who had also played a good game. These are mistakes to learn from in view of Race-7. “We have already played one in these playoffs against Milwaukee and we have already won in Miami – explains the coach -. But we will have to start better, take advantage of the opportunities as we have not been able to do this time!”.
The most beautiful challenge of the series is immediately the Jimmy Butler show, 14 points in the first quarter with which Miami also builds 10 points ahead (19-9), before the return of Boston which does not prevent the Heat from reaching the rest ahead 48 -46. Miami finds Strus’s triples in the third period and runs away to 79-66 which Oladipo signs at 2’08 “from the siren, but Boston overturns everything pushed by White and 4’43” from the end is ahead 97-94. Lowry puts 5 points in a row before going out for fouls, then Butler completes the job. We need race-7, the two most beautiful words in sport.
Boston: Tatum 30 (5/5 of two, 4/7 of three, 8/8 free throws), White 22, Brown 20. Rebounds: Tatum 9, Horford 9. Assists: Horford 5, Brown 5, White 5.
Miami: Butler 47 (12/21, 4/8, 11/11 tl), Lowry 18, Strus 13. Rebounds: Butler 9, Adebayo 9. Assists: Lowry 10.
May 28, 2022 (change May 28, 2022 | 08:28)
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