The Miami Heat didn’t want it to end, and certainly not in a sea of green.
More to the point, Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry didn’t want it to end, even when it looked like their bodies were getting the best of their 30-somethings.
So make it a game at the FTX Arena at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday 7th to organize these Eastern Conference Finals.
Stopping the elimination with a 111-103 win on Friday night, the Heat, like the Celtics, now have a win from an NBA Finals appearance against the Golden State Warriors.
Just like when LeBron James scored 45 in a necessary victory a decade ago, when the Heat went 3-2 down at TD Garden in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals, Butler raised his game to a higher level. took, 47 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. , in the wake of past struggles with knee pain.
Butler said a text message from friend and heat icon Dwayne Wade provided additional inspiration.
Pushing through a hamstring strain, Lowry added 18 points and 10 assists before he went out to play in a 99–99 tie with 2:18.
Also stepping up guard Max Strauss, with 13 points, was limited to a heat bench on a night, with sixth man Tyler Harrow being sidelined for a third game in a row due to a groin strain.
For the Celtics, there were 30 points from Jason Tatum, 22 from Derrick White and 20 from Jaylen Brown.
Five degrees of heat from Friday’s game:
1. Completion Time: Up two at halftime, the Heat moved to a 13-point lead in the third quarter, the game’s biggest lead at that stage, and took an 82–75 advantage in the fourth.
But the Celtics kept coming, tying it to 5:31 at the Al Horford 3-pointer, and Derrick White remaining 4:42 at the 3-pointer to lead 97-94.
A Lowry 3-pointer followed to tie it, with a pair of Lowry free throws then extending the heat to 99–97.
But after the Celtics drew 99-99 on a pair of Marcus Smart free throws, Butler drove for another one lay-up and a 102-99 heat lead with 2:06. Heat forward PJ Tucker then took a 105-99 lead with 1:25 with three free throws.
A Tatum second-chance layup took a 105-101 lead with 71 seconds to spare.
But then, at the end of the shot clock, from an inbound play with 2.2 seconds to clock 24, Butler pulled out a 20-foot jumper for a 107-101 heat lead.
Two Tatum free throws with 40 seconds to spare cut the heat lead to 107-103.
Video review then reversed a blocked foul on the Heat’s Bam Adebayo on a brown charge with 12.1 seconds remaining, effectively ending it.
2. Finding the Way: Butler added 21 points, nine rebounds and six assists at halftime, compared to the previous three games, when the Heat led 48–46.
That effort included a 3-for-3 start from the 3-point line, followed by another 3-pointer.
It was not entirely Butler’s start at full-contact, not reaching the foul line until 6:49 in the second period, but it turned out to be far higher than Butler, who scored only six free throws in the last three lines. I had come. Play
3. Lori, also Strauss: After the Heat took 0 for 15 on the opening backcourt in Game 5, both Lowry and Strauss had a revival.
After playing Game 5 without a point or turnover, Lowry was back to his strange self with both his game and scoring.
Limited by a hamstring strain for much of this season, Lowry showed far greater mobility, which also helped with the lift on his shot, closing 4 out of 9 at 3-pointers.
Strauss, who had scored 0 for 16 in the last two games, found both his 3-point shot and aggression, up 13 points to go into the fourth.
At one point in the third quarter, Strauss reacted after the 3-pointer with such emotion that he spit out his mouthpiece in his excitement.
Strauss closed 3 of 8 on 3-pointers.
4. New Beginnings: The Heat addressed many of their Game 5 ailments early on.
After shooting 7-of-45 at 3-pointers Wednesday night, he closed the first quarter 5 of 8.
Lowry had five points and two assists in that opening period.
And after scoring 13 points in Game 5, Butler had 14 points in the opening round in the heat-up 29–22. ended with
5. No Tyler Hero: In the end, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said the team couldn’t risk Harrow’s groin strain, even with the stakes.
“These are not easy conversations or decisions,” Spoelstra said 90 minutes before tipoff. “He’s definitely made progress, but he’s not quite ready, you know, to step into this kind of intensity of a game.”
Spoelstra declined to say whether Herro’s injury would have been measured in days rather than weeks if it had been a regular season.
“I think it’s irrelevant to go into all the details,” he said. “He’s not able to play tonight, you know. As badly as he wants to get out of there, you know, it’s the most responsible decision we’ve ever made.”