Only there was no goalkeeper.
It was just a free kick, no stopwatch, no one else from the Miami Heat or the Milwaukee Bucks standing along the way. Tied game, two chances to take a shot, the result entirely in Butler’s hands.
“I wish I could throw in there and say that’s how I won it,” Butler said.
Clicking at home, a free throw should be enough. Butler got the first to bounce at home, made a second that wasn’t relevant, and the Heat took control of their Eastern semi with a 116-114 win over the Bucks on Wednesday. evening – becoming the first No.5 seed to win a The 2-0 series leads on a No.1 seed.
Butler was fouled by Giannis Antetokounmpo with no time remaining, the referees said, an appeal which was upheld in a review after the initial whistle. The ball was out of Butler’s hands when Antetokounmpo clearly made contact.
“I would say we’re disappointed with the judgment, the decision, the timing,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said.
It was a bizarre ending to a bizarre ending.
The Heat rose to six with 27 seconds left and spoiled that with Butler giving Milwaukee two points with a very ill-advised pass – “a terrible game of IQ,” he admitted – back to the basket. Bucks that turned into a layup by Brook Lopez.
This got Milwaukee in under two, and Butler made a free throw with 7.7 seconds left to reduce the lead to three. Khris Middleton was fouled by Goran Dragic _ a call Miami argued to no avail as the Heat unsuccessfully used their challenge on a Lopez foul shooting a 3 in the first quarter – with 4.3 seconds left. play, and the All-Star made the three free throws to tie it up.
Butler ended up with the ball in the deep corner and Antetokounmpo – the reigning defensive player of the year – got into an argument.
“I have a feeling that, personally, it was the right game,” Antetokounmpo said.
Then came the whistle, and that was it. Milwaukee could not contest the appeal; the Bucks used their review to overturn what would have been Antetokounmpo’s fourth foul on a charge call against Butler early in the fourth quarter.
“According to the officials’ judgment, the foul happened, I guess, at some point when he landed,” Budenholzer said. “In the officials’ opinion, there was enough of it to warrant a foul.”
Dragic scored 23 points, Tyler Herro added 17 on the bench and Jae Crowder had 16 for Miami. Bam Adebayo scored 15 points, Butler and Duncan Robinson each have 13 and Kelly Olynyk added 11 for Miami _, 6-0 in this postseason.
“It doesn’t take a genius to know we were going to try to put that ball in Jimmy’s mitts and see what can happen from there,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He was very patient. There were four seconds left. I think a lot of players would have rushed. He took his time.
Antetokounmpo had 29 points and 14 rebounds for the Bucks. Middleton scored 23 points for Milwaukee, who got 16 points each from Lopez and Eric Bledsoe and 14 from George Hill.
Miami’s lead was 90-86 early in the fourth – and Milwaukee had regained the lead on the very first possession of the last quarter.
Middleton was fouled on a 3-point try, made the first two free throws and the rebound for the third was controlled by the Bucks. Kyle Korver had 3 points on that rebound to cap a five-point possession for Milwaukee, who again led for the first time since 14-13.
The heat was not deterred. They scored 13 of the next 15 points not only to regain the advantage, but also to push it to 103-93 on a 3-point Crowder with 7:50 to go.
They would no longer follow.
But on a physical night – 71 fouls were attempted, there were two gross fouls and one technique on a game where another flagrant was being considered – the Heat were the biggest in the end.
“You can’t relax, you can’t make yourself comfortable,” Butler said. “They are too good a team.”
Heat: Dragic has scored at least 20 points in six straight playoff games. This is the 12th such streak in Heat history; Dwyane Wade had six, LeBron James had five. … Andre Iguodala started in the third quarter with a sprained right ankle, which he turned over when he had no room to land and came down on Korver’s foot.
Bucks: Antetokounmpo, who was 4 for 12 from the foul line in Game 1, started 4 for 5 from the strip in Game 2. He finished 9 for 13.… Milwaukee topped Miami 50-38.
FOULING ON 3’S
The Heat fouled the Bucks five times in 3-point tries in the game, including two against Lopez in 26 seconds in the first quarter.
5 MORE THAN 1
Since the league changed to 16-team format in 1984, only four No.1 seeds have given up the first two games of a first or second round series. Phoenix (1993, in a best-of-five) and Boston (2017) both rallied to win first-round clashes; Toronto was swept away by Cleveland in the 2018 Eastern Semifinals.
The third game will take place on Friday.