NBA Eastern Conference Finals: Jimmy Butler's heroics helps Heat make it 3-3 vs Celtics
On Friday, Miami Heat drubbed Boston Celtics 111-103 in the 2022 NBA Eastern Conference Finals. Thanks to Jimmy Butler's heroics, the series is locked 3-3, with the decider to be played on Sunday.
In an elimination game for them, the Miami Heat kept its title hopes alive, led by a masterful Jimmy Butler performance and tied the eastern conference finals 3-3. With his team's season on the line on the road, Butler came out firing with 14 points and four assists in the first quarter to give the Heat a seven-point advantage. Butler scored or assisted more points than the entire Celtics team in the opening quarter.
The Celtics cut down the Heat's lead to just two in the second quarter, largely thanks to Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, who combined for 22 points in the second period on very efficient shooting. The Heat took control of the game to start the second half, thanks to Max Strus, who had missed 14 straight 3s (for three games), and scored 11 points in the third quarter, including 3 3- pointers.
Despite a late Celtics run to end the quarter, the Heat had extended its lead back to seven as the third quarter came to a close. Derrick White, who had 11 of his Celtics-high 22 points in the fourth quarter, led the Celtics back into the game in the fourth. With a white assist and three-pointer in back-to-back possessions, the Celtics took their first lead in two quarters, with 4:43 left.
The Heat desperately needed an answer, and it got just that through a Kyle Lowry three-pointer. Lowry, who struggled in the first five games of this series due to injuries, put up a very useful 18-point-10 assist performance. To end the game, it was the Jimmy Butler show, as he scored seven points in the last couple of minutes of the game. Butler finished the game with 47 points, nine rebounds, eight assists, and four steals.
The Celtics' Big 2 of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined for 50 points. However, they also had a staggering 11 turnovers. Marcus Smart struggled offensively, going four of 15 from the field, including one of nine from three-point range. The biggest story for Miami besides Jimmy Butler was its overall three-point shooting, as it made 15 3s at 42.9% after going 15.6% from behind the arc in the previous game. The win or go-home Game 7 will be in Miami on Monday at 6:30 AM IST.