Jimmy Butler scores 40 points, Heat top Bucks in Game 1

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Floride – Jimmy Butler continued to hear the same message from his teammates in every conversation Monday night.” Win the game. ”

He listened to them and delivered.

Butler scored 14 of his 40 points, a career-high fourth quarter playoff, Goran Dragic added 27 and the Heat tightened defense in the final three quarters to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 115-104 in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semi-final series on Monday night.

“I felt like I hit a level in the fourth quarter,” said Butler. “If it’s going to happen in every game, I have to be able to do it. But we have so many guys who can do it. that for us. ”

Bam adebayo had 12 points, 17 rebounds and six assists for the fifth-seeded Heat, who is 3-1 overall against the seeded Bucks this season. Tyler Herro added 11 points for Miami, which improved to 5-0 in the postseason.

Butler joins only James Lebron and Dwyane Wade – the first person to text Butler on Monday night – as players with a 40-point playoff effort for Miami. He had 13 for 20 from the field, 12 for 13 from the line and 2 for 2 from the 3 point earth.

“He wants those kinds of moments,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

Khris Middleton scored 28 points for Milwaukee, who also dropped out of Game 1 of their first-round series against Orlando. Brook Lopez had 24 out of 8 points for 10 shoots, and Giannis Antetokounmpo had 18 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists for the Bucks.

But Antetokounmpo’s night will likely be best remembered by what he did on the foul line: the reigning MVP got 4 of 12 from the strip, anyone’s worst performance with at least 12 pitching attempts. francs in a playoff game since André Roberson went 2 for 12 for Oklahoma City on April 23, 2017 against Houston.

“He just has to stay with his routine, stay true to what he’s doing, keep having a lot of confidence, keep pushing, keep hitting the free throw line,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. We have complete confidence in him. ”

Kyle Korver added 11 for the Bucks, who scored 40 points on their way to an 11-point lead after the first quarter – then managed 64 the rest of the way. The Bucks played without a point guard Eric Bledsoe, with a tense right hamstring.

“We’ve been here before,” Antetokounmpo said. “Going down 0-1 against Orlando, we did the same thing last year against Boston… We’ve got to go out and play Game 2, man. It’s a big game. Our season is on the line. We have to go out, play hard, watch the tape, make the adjustment, be aggressive, make the right game and we hope we can win the game. ”

Miami led 92-86 after three quarters, having trailed for most of the game until this point – then only managed three points in the first 6:09 of the fourth quarter.

The Bucks haven’t really exploited this crisis.

Marvin WilliamsThe three-point game with 7:40 left put Milwaukee up 95-93, and it remained a game with one possession for almost five minutes. Antetokounmpo scored for a 96-95 lead halfway through the fourth, before Butler led and knocked down a base float on Miami’s next possession to put Miami back in the lead for good.

Butler’s 3 pointer with 3:03 left pushed the lead to 102-96, and Herro – after Adebayo extended a possession with an offensive rebound – connected on a 3 with 1:34 to go to get 109-101.

The second game will take place on Wednesday.

“Just as they’re going to study their movie to get better, so will we,” Butler said.

TIP-INS

Heat: Miami is now 24-20 in Game 1. … Duncan Robinson, much of Miami’s success this season, only had one basket – a 3-point conceded. … Butler’s previous record in a Heat uniform was 38 points. His previous career playoff record was 36, for Philadelphia last year.

Bucks: Milwaukee is now 20-32 in Game 1. … Antetokounmpo’s son, Liam, was among the earliest fans in bubble history; Monday was the first day some NBA players could bring their families back to the restart. … Lopez had two fouls at half-time, then two more in the first 40 seconds of the third quarter. … Middleton and Lopez together for 40 points in the first half, 12 in the second.

RILEY ARRIVE

Heat president Pat Riley was at the game, although he was not allowed to be near the team or their hotel due to restart health and safety rules. Spoelstra said he was happy that Riley and general manager Andy Elisburg – who also took part in some first-round games – were able to see the “historic” bubble. “It’s still enough to be able to feel the emotions of the playoffs and where we are at,” Spoelstra said.

VOTING SITE

Fans can come to the Milwaukee Fiserv Forum this fall to vote. The city of Milwaukee announced Monday that the Bucks’ home arena will be an early voting site for the 2020 general election, which is open from October 20 to November 1. Election day is November 3. Miami is also looking to transform its original arena. in an early voting site this year.

FOLLOWING

The second game will take place on Wednesday.

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