The Milwaukee Bucks appeared alive and well after three quarters of play. On the other hand, the Miami Heat had something to say about it. In a 128-126 overtime thriller, the Heat overcame a 16-point hole in the fourth quarter to remove the No. 1 seed Bucks from the playoffs.
The first quarter of the game turned out to be close, with the Miami Heat leading 36-33. The Bucks adjusted in the second quarter and went into halftime with a six-point advantage. That momentum continued into the third quarter when the Bucks opened up a 16-point advantage at the start of the fourth.
The Bucks’ offense then went cold. Milwaukee’s opening seven shots in the fourth quarter were all missed. Jrue Holiday sank a free throw with 8:26 remaining in the quarter to give the club its first-quarter points. During Milwaukee’s scoreless streak, Miami went on an 8-0 run. The Miami Heat trailed by nine points after Holiday’s free shot.
Butler Takes Over in Fourth Quarter to Lead Miami Heat to Memorable Overtime Win Against Bucks
Giannis Antetokounmpo, a big man for the Bucks, went cold from the field, and the Heat kept chipping away at their deficit. With 4:39 remaining in regulation, Jimmy Butler finally got going. His two attempts were also successful, bringing the deficit to five points. Wesley Matthews gave the Bucks an eight-point lead with 3:18 remaining with a 3-pointer, but Butler responded by making his next three shots to knot the score at 111.
In the last seconds of the game, the two teams swapped baskets. Kevin Love fouled Khris Middleton with less than 30 seconds remaining, and Middleton made both free throws to give the Bucks a two-point lead. Holiday made both free throws after Butler missed a 3-pointer, extending their lead to six.
Gabe Vincent made a 3-pointer with 8.4 seconds remaining to cut the Heat’s deficit to one point. Soon after, Holiday was called for a foul, and he made just 1 of 2 from the line. The Heat dribbled the clock to 2.1 seconds before the lob passed to Butler in the paint. Butler, on the ground, put up the game-tying shot that sent the game into overtime.
In Overtime, the Two Sides Kept Scoring Back and Forth
After Love was knocked out of the game with a fourth-quarter foul, the Heat lost Bam Adebayo and Kyle Lowry in the final minutes. With 40 seconds remaining, though, the greatest foul of the night occurred. When Max Strus attempted a 3-pointer from well beyond the arc, Antetokounmpo fouled him. Strus succeeded in half his tries. With 29.5 seconds remaining, Antetokounmpo made a free throw to cut the lead to one point.
The Bucks had an opportunity to tie or win the game after a missed 3-pointer by Vincent, but the clock ran out before Grayson Allen could release his shot. The Heat took the victory.
Butler scored 42 points in Game 5 to lead the Miami Heat to victory. Butler’s performance was consistent with his outstanding series, in which he scored at least 30 points in each of the Heat’s victories. His effort was highlighted by a 56-point explosion in Game 4 that helped the Bucks avoid elimination.
The victory puts the Heat in the conference semifinals, where they will face the New York Knicks.
Meanwhile, the Bucks will aim to get back on track after being eliminated from the playoffs early.
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