By: Nina Cray
In a thrilling 99-90 win over the Philadelphia 76ers, the Miami Heat have secured their spot in the Eastern Conference finals for the second time in three years – Jimmy Butler leading the way.
Jimmy Butler scored 32 points, 14 of which came in the third quarter after a slow start in the first half shooting just 3-for-10.
Bam Adebayo, Heat center, even said that Butler was the “engine” of the team at 32 years old.
“I think the confidence my teammates and my coaches put in me, it’s a lot,” Butler said. “They really be hyping me up out there and I just go play. I try everything in my power to make sure that we win… They just trust me with everything.”
Max Strus, an often-overlooked player for the Heat, played a critical role in the team’s victory as well, ending the game with a double-double – 20 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.
For the 2nd game in a row, Strus picked up offensive slack when necessary, scoring 16 of his 20 points in the first half, setting the tone for the game early.
Despite playing yet again without the injured Kyle Lowry, the Heat’s offense and intense defense in Game 6 gave them success.
Now it’s a waiting game for the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks series conclusion, with Game 1 set already for Tuesday at 8:30PM. The Bucks are currently leading 3-2 in the series.
These finals will mark the ninth for the Heat, the team has made an impressive six of the last 12 Eastern Finals.
Jackson, Barry. May 13th, 2022. Miami Herald. “Heat dominates the 2nd half, beats Philadelphia 76ers to advance to Eastern Finals.” <https://www.miamiherald.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/barry-jackson/article260769472.html>
Friedell, Nick. May 2022. ESPN. “Jimmy Butler leads Miami Heat back to Eastern Conference Finals.” <https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/33906690/jimmy-butler-leads-miami-heat-back-eastern-conference-finals>