Heat vs. Celtics – Game Recap – May 27, 2022

BOSTON — Kyle Lowry listened politely, while Jimmy Butler shared credit for Miami’s sixth win, until his fellow All-Star was too humble, calling his 47-point, elimination-avoiding performance “decent” .

“This (expletive) is unbelievable,” Lowry corrected him, apologizing to the TV cameras in the back of the room for his language and begging the league not to fine him. “It’s incredible to have a guy like him by my side. I’ve played with some great players and he’s one of the best.”

Butler scored 47 points — a career playoff high and one of the best performances by a player facing elimination in NBA history — as the Heat beat the Boston Celtics 111-103 on Friday night. The Eastern Conference finals went into a decisive Game 7.

A decade later, LeBron James scored 45 points in Boston’s Game 6 to head to the Heat’s first back-to-back NBA championship, and Butler scored 17 in the fourth quarter to send the series back to Miami.

With a home win, the Heat will advance to the NBA Finals for the second time in three years.

“For these two teams, that’s the way it should be. It should be seven games,” Miami coach Eric Spoelstra said. “I’m really happy for our team to have the opportunity to play Game 7 in front of the home crowd.”

The winner of Sunday’s Game 7 will advance to the NBA Finals against Golden State, which eliminated the Dallas Mavericks in five games on Thursday night. Warriors forward Draymond Green said after the game that he wants to play against the Celtics.

In the most back-and-forth game of the series, Boston led 97-94 on Derrick White’s 3-pointer with less than five minutes left — the best of any series in fourth Festival changed hands for the first time. Lowry responded with a 3, then made two free throws and Miami scored 11 of the next 13.

Lowry had 18 points and 10 assists with 2:18 left. Butler shot 16 of 29 — including 4 of 8 from 3-point range — and made 11 free throws.

“He came out of the jumper and made his mark on the game,” White said. “It’s been his whole career, going on offense and doing everything he did to help his team win. We know that. It’s coming and we have to do better in Game 7.”

Jayson Tatum had 30 points and nine rebounds for Boston, and White came off the bench to score 11 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter. The Celtics are trying to reach the Finals for the first time since 2010, two years after the new Big Three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen won the team’s 17th NBA championship — — That’s the record since the Lakers tied it.

“It’s no secret: It’s Game 7, a trip to the NBA Finals, and a lot of things are at stake,” Tatum said. “We know what’s at stake. We know what that means for everyone.”

Jaylen Brown scored 20 points for Boston. After Lowry fouled, he missed two free throws and the two sides tied at 99. Brown fouled on a charge and missed a dunk with 13 seconds left, and the Celtics were 4 points behind to evaluate.

avoid elimination

Butler’s 47 points ranks seventh in NBA history by a player facing elimination.

Elgin Baylor scored 61 points in Game 5 of the 1962 Finals against Boston. Wilt Chamberlain topped the 50 three times, Sleepy Floyd had 50 against the Lakers in 1987, and Jamal Murray had 50 against Utah in 2020.

It was also the third place to avoid being eliminated by the Celtics. In addition to Baylor, Chamberlain also had 50 points in Game 5 of the 1960 Eastern Conference Finals.

James’ 45-point game against Boston in Game 6 of the 2012 Western Conference finals set the stage for a Game 7 victory in Miami.

The Heat expect Butler’s performance to do the same.

“I get it, people can easily compare the two,” Spoelstra said. “It was a different era. It was a different team. I want our players to embrace this moment.”

in and out

Miami guard Tyler Herro missed his third straight game with a groin strain, costing the team its second leading scorer. Kyle Lowry (hamstring), Max Struth (hamstring) and PJ Tucker (knee) are listed as having issues but are all in the starting lineup.

Boston’s Marcus Smart (sprained right ankle) and Robert Williams III (sore knee) tested their injuries before the game and are also in the lineup.

Prompt plugin

Heat: Butler had 14 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in the first quarter. He scored or assisted 24 of Miami’s 29 points in the quarter.

Celtics: Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, who was inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame Thursday night, was on the sidelines. Earlier in the evening, Ortiz played a ceremonial first game at Fenway Park. Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez was also in the game, wearing his World Series ring.


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