Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler shrugged off a bad streak to single-handedly carry his team to a 111-103 win over the Celtics to tie in the 6th game of the finals of the NBA Eastern Conference. The previous struggling Butler strung together 3 average outings but came well at a time his team needed him the most.
The absence of Tyler Herro, out with a strained groin, was not in evidence as Butler on his own set off a personal playoff high with 47 points, 9 rebounds, 4 steals, and 8 assists. A completely stellar all-around performance and a playoff series that has lost all semblance of predictability or order.
He flat-footed the Celtics defenders for 3-pointers negotiated their strong defensive formations, whipped through passes to his teammates, and drew fouls, leaving the Celtics despondent in the end.
The celebrated Celtic defense wilted under the storm whipped up by the shooting guard and small forward. He recalled that his coaches and teammates allowed him to be aggressive and be the best player on the floor.
The Celtics allowed the Miami Heat players, especially Butler, a clear road to the hoop, pouncing on the opportunity, driving for the layup, and soaking in contact. His winning play broke the tie and also the steely resolve of the Celtic defense.
The Win By Miami Heat Ensured That The EC Final Will Be Decided In The Final Game
The win ensured that the Eastern Conf. series has been pushed to the absolute limit and the final game, Game 7, will be the decider on in Miami on Sunday night.
For the losers, Jayson Tatum, the guard scored an average of 23.8 points over the last 5 games in the EC finals. On Friday, he contributed 30 to the losing game.
Butler ended with 47 points for the Miami Heat on a weak knee following 2 of the toughest games in his career. Butler revealed that a call from the former Miami Heat guard, Dwayne Wade, inspired him to lift his game, at a time when he was truly needed.