Butler's 47 forces Game 7 in Miami

John Gallardo
FiredUp Network Sports Writer


Friday, May 27, 2022

Butler leads Miami past Boston to force Game 7

After scoring a total of 19 points in games five and six, Jimmy Butler bounced back in Boston, and in a big way. In the fourth road win of the series, the Miami Heat defeated the Boston Celtics 111-103 to knot the series at three games-a-piece to force a winner-take-all game seven in Miami on Sunday.


Butler finished with a game-high 47-points, nine rebounds, eight assists, and four steals on the night in a signature playoff performance.


The Heat started out strong in the first, contrary to their slow starts in the last two outings. P.J. Tucker got things started for Miami with a three to knock down their first field-goal attempt. Kyle Lowry also looked more aggressive from the outset, looking to push the pace and make plays both for his teammates and for himself.


Both teams showed heart, with multiple possessions needing multiple efforts just to secure the basketball. Miami led by seven after one quarter.


The second quarter saw a toe-to-toe offensive onslaught, with both teams matching each other shot for shot, defensive play for defensive play. Miami made their run to gain a 10-point lead, only for Boston to force a 14-point turnaround to give the Celtics a four-point lead with 1:32 left to play in the half.


Miami responded with a mini 4-0 run to end the quarter that gave them the 48-46 edge going into halftime.


The Heat continued their scorching hot shooting from three in the second half, as they scored 34 in the third, largely in transition looks generated by Lowry and Butler, who routinely found shooters like Max Strus who hit two major threes that kept the momentum in Miami’s corner.


Miami took a 82-75 lead heading into the fourth. Boston jumped out of the break in play with urgency, as a 22-12 run in the first seven minutes of the quarter put the Celtics up by three points. Trailing 97-94, Lowry proceeded to hit a turnaround three-point jump shot on the right wing to once again tie the game.


Derrick White picked Lowry's pocket as Miami was advancing the ball towards the halfcourt line, which led to a Jaylen Brown jump shot that was fouled by Lowry. That would be the sixth foul on Lowry, but fortunately for Miami, Brown missed both free throws.


Jimmy Butler then proceeded to put Miami in the driver’s seat for good, as after Brown missed free throws, Butler drove to the paint and converted on an and-one that put Miami back up by three. A steal by Tucker and a Butler fadeaway jumper as the shot clock expired put away the Celtics for good.


Miami converted on 43% of their three-point attempts (15-for-35), after two sub-par shooting performances in games four and five. 


The Heat and Celtics will look to settle the series in Miami on Sunday at 8:30 p.m. EST.