Jimmy Butler scores 35 in Game 7 defeat
Miami, FL- The Heat could not string together defensive stops late in the fourth and drops Game 7 to the Celtics, 100-96.
After all of the bumps, bruises, trash talking, and blowout games, the Heat vs Celtics series came down to a winner take everything aspect.Jimmy Butler took over Game 6 and forced a Game 7. Leading up to the game, a lot of people wanted to know what Heat team would come out of the locker room. Would it be the passive one or would it be the aggressive team that pushed the pace of the game and make the Celtics defend their wing players? Only time would tell.
In the first three minutes of the first quarter, Klye Lowry picked up two quick fouls, which was something to watch out for the rest of the game. Like most of the series, where it seemed like one team was dominating the other, this was the same. Miami had no answer for the Celtics in the paint and had six turnovers that allowed the Celtics to score at will. The Heat allowed 13 offensive transitional points in the quarter and was down 32-17 at the start of the second.
Butler decided to put Miami on his back and attacked Boston's half-court defense. At one point in the quarter, he scored seven consecutive points to cut into the Celtics' lead. Miami cut Boston's lead to 11 at the six minute mark, which got the crowd back into the game. Even though Boston was killing Miami in the paint, Butler got his team within striking distance at the end of the first half, 55-49. Butler finished the half with 24 points.
Miami came out the gate in the second half with a burst of energy and belief on both sides of the floor. The Heat cut the Celtics to two, but Boston went on a 14-2 run to go back up 13 midway in the third. Butler and Bam Adebayo kept hitting key shots to keep their team in the game. Outside of Butler and Bam Bam, contributions from other players were non-existent.
Once again the Heat got within three at the start of the fourth and had Boston on their heels. However, their head haunting with shooting threes instead of going for mid-range jumpers helped the Celtics go on a 14-6 run to go up double digits. Miami had one last gasp at stunning the Celtics late. With .50 seconds left in regulation, Miami had a chance to tie up the game, but Butler went for the win instead of the tie and missed the shot. That shot was the last card that they could play and lost all of their marbles.