Jimmy Butler scores 47 against Celtics, forcing Game 7 in Miami

by mcardinal

 

Jimmy Butler set a personal playoff high with 47 points and contributed nine rebounds, eight assists and four steals to lead the Miami Heat to a 111-103 victory over the host Boston Celtics on Friday night to tie the Eastern Conference finals at three games apiece.

Butler had scored just 27 points over the previous three games before erupting during a must-win situation in Game 6. He made 16 of 29 field-goal attempts — including 4 of 8 from 3-point range — and sank all 11 free-throw attempts while reaching the 40-point mark for the second time in this series and the fourth time in the postseason.

Kyle Lowry recorded 18 points and 10 assists before fouling out for the Heat. Max Strus scored 13 points and P.J. Tucker added 11.

Jayson Tatum registered 30 points and nine rebounds, Derrick White scored 22 points and Jaylen Brown added 20 for Boston. Marcus Smart had 14 points and Robert Williams III tallied 12 for the Celtics.

Game 7 is Sunday night in Miami.

Butler converted a tiebreaking three-point play to give Miami a 102-99 lead with 2:06 remaining. Tucker made three of four free throws during a 20-second span to make it a six-point margin with 1:25 left.

Butler’s jumper with 43.9 seconds left provided another six-point lead and the Heat closed it out.

Miami guard Tyler Herro (groin) missed his third straight game. Herro won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award for this season.

The Heat shot 46.2 percent from the field, including 15 of 35 from 3-point range. Miami was 24 of 25 from the free-throw line.

Boston hit 44.4 percent of its shots and was 11 of 33 from behind the arc. The Celtics were 28 of 31 from the line.

Miami used a 13-2 spurt in the third quarter to open up a 70-58 lead with 5:31 left. Victor Oladipo and Strus canned back-to-back 3-pointers to cap the run.

The Heat pushed their advantage to 13 on two free throws by Oladipo with 2:08 left in the period and settled for an 82-75 lead entering the final stanza.

Boston’s Al Horford buried with a trey to tie it at 94 with 5:31 left. White followed with a 3-pointer to give Boston a 97-94 edge with 4:43 left before the Heat controlled the final minutes.

Butler had 21 points, nine rebounds and six assists as Miami led 48-46 at the break. Tatum and Brown scored 18 first-half points apiece for the Celtics.

Copyright 2022 Thomson/Reuters

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