News ID: 115221
Publish Date : 20 May 2023 - 22:49

Miami Beats Boston 111-105 to Take 2-0 Lead in East Finals

BOSTON (AP) — Jimmy Butler went forehead-to-forehead with the Boston Celtics, and the Heat are heading back to Miami with an opportunity to advance to the NBA Finals.
Butler scored 27 points, hitting back-to-back buckets to tie the game and give Miami the lead, and the eighth-seeded Heat left Boston with a 111-105 victory Friday night and a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.
Butler also provided eight rebounds, six assists and an emotional spark after Boston’s Grant Williams started jawing with him: Butler stared down Williams, with both players drawing technical fouls for the double head-butt.
Then “Jimmy Buckets” scored and scored some more — nine points in all during a 23-9 run that turned a nine-point deficit into a 105-100 lead.
Bam Adebayo had 22 points, 17 rebounds and nine assists for Miami, which returns home with a chance to sweep and become just the second No. 8 seed to reach the NBA Finals.
Jayson Tatum had 34 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists for Boston. But the Celtics star went 0 for 3 with two turnovers in the fourth quarter, when Boston blew an 89-77 lead en route to a second home loss in three nights.
After finishing 13 games ahead of the Heat in the regular-season -- and then watching top-seeded Milwaukee fall to Miami in the first round -- the Celtics have stumbled on what appeared to be a clear path to their second straight NBA Finals.
Jaylen Brown scored 16 points on 7-for-23 shooting; he went 1 for 5 with a turnover in the final quarter, when Miami outscored Boston 36-22.
The Celtics led by 11 in the third quarter and made it a dozen early in the fourth. Williams made a 3-pointer to make it 96-87 and was talking to Butler on the way back down the court. Butler scored at the other end and was fouled by Williams; the two players leaned into each other — drawing double technicals — before Butler hit the ensuing free throw.
After Tatum missed from long distance — one of three missed 3s in the fourth quarter — Butler drove to the basket to make it a four-point Boston lead. Miami trailed 98-96 when Butler was called for an offensive foul, kicking Marcus Smart after landing on a missed 3-pointer.