Heat rally again to win in OT, eliminate top-seeded Bucks
It turns out he also was a heck of a play caller.
Butler scored 42 points and the Heat staged a second straight stunning fourth-quarter rally before winning 128-126 in overtime on Wednesday night (Thursday morning, April 27, 2023, PH time) in Game 5 to eliminate the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks.
“We’re a resilient group,” Butler said. “We stick together through everything.”
The Heat advanced to a second-round series with the fifth-seeded New York Knicks, who completed their 4-1 series win over the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier Wednesday. Game 1 is Sunday (Monday) in New York.
Miami, which had to win a play-in game with Chicago just to get to the first round, became the sixth No. 8 seed to beat a No. 1 seed. The last time it happened was in 2012, when a Philadelphia 76ers team featuring current Bucks guard Jrue Holiday capitalized on Derrick Rose’s knee injury to beat the top-seeded Chicago Bulls.
Two nights after outscoring the Bucks 30-13 in the final six minutes of a 119-115 victory in Miami, the Heat came back from a 16-point, fourth-quarter deficit and tied the game on Butler’s layup with half a second left in regulation.
The Heat trailed 118-116 with 2.1 seconds left and called a timeout when coach Erik Spoelstra drew up a play. Butler didn’t like what he saw and spoke up about it. Spoelstra then changed his mind and set up the tying play, which had Gabe Vincent throwing an inbounds pass to Butler, who was waiting underneath the basket to force overtime.
“He’s desperate and urgent and maniacal and sometimes psychotic about the will to try to win,” Spoelstra said. “He’ll make everybody in the building feel it. That’s why he is us and we are him. That’s the way we operate as well.”
The Heat advanced to a second-round series with the fifth-seeded New York Knicks, who completed their 4-1 series win over the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier Wednesday. Game 1 is Sunday (Monday) in New York. / AP