Miami Heat fans are jumping with joy. Milwaukee Bucks fans are stunned and dejected. Either way, this Game 5 will be considered an instant playoff classic.
The Heat miraculously defeated the Bucks in overtime in Game 5, 128-126, which knocked the top seed in the Eastern Conference out in the first round as Miami takes the series 4-1.
And it was Jimmy Butler once again coming through with more clutch baskets when it mattered most.
With two seconds left on the clock and the Heat down two points, they needed to get a clean inbounds pass after calling a timeout and a shot up and in to at least force overtime. Butler was one of the main reasons the Heat were in this position in the first place, using his clutch gene to get bucket after bucket in the fourth quarter to drive his team back into it. The Bucks at one point were leading by double digits.
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Gabe Vincent threw the ball in the air on a designed play to Butler down in the paint, and what transpired was something out of a video game. Frankly, even a video game might not have this shot hard-wired in.
Butler caught the pass one-handed, and all in the same motion, tossed it toward the hoop. The arena was left stunned when it fell in with just half a second left on the clock.
JIMMY BUTLER’S EPIC 56-POINT PERFORMANCE GIVES HEAT WIN, PUSHES NBA’S BEST TEAM TO THE BRINK
Overtime saw a lot of missed baskets on both sides, but the Heat did what was necessary to close out the comeback and move on to the next round.
They will go on to face the New York Knicks in the second round.
One game removed from dropping 56 points, Butler finished this one with 42 points on 17-of-33 shooting with eight rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block. There is no doubt Butler’s performance in this series carried the Heat to the upset.
But he wasn’t alone in this one. Center Bam Adebayo had a triple-double with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for the Heat in the victory. Vincent also dropped 22 points, hitting a clutch three-pointer late in the fourth quarter as well to aid in the comeback.
The Bucks’ two biggest stars Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton each did their jobs, but it wasn’t enough in the end. Antetokounmpo had 38 points for the Bucks with 20 rebounds.
However, he left 13 points at the charity stripe, going 10-of-23 from the free throw line despite an efficient 14-for-27 from the field.
Middleton was a perfect 9-of-9 from the line while shooting 10-of-24 for 33 points with six rebounds and six assists.
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No time has been set for the Heat-Knicks series to begin, but one thing is for sure: New York better be ready for Butler, who is taking the team name on his jersey very serious this postseason.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.