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Heat slay Bucks 115-104 off Butler’s 40 point explosion

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After a forgettable first half, the Heat would get going in the second as Jimmy Butler erupted to steal Game 1.

NBA: Playoffs-Miami Heat at Milwaukee Bucks Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

First Quarter:

Jimmy got Miami started with a tip in off a Bam miss and Duncan followed that up with a three of his own, and Crowder moments later. Despite scoring early, the Heat looked rusty after a week layoff.

For the Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo still looked like the reigning MVP as he scored at will tying things up. Giannis was also incredible on the defensive end, rejecting Jimmy at the rim. Still, Jimmy continued to find his way to the free throw line.

Both teams went back and forth, but things started to shift in favour of Milwaukee when notorious Heat killer Khris Middleton found his shooting stroke.

Kendrick Nunn found himself back in the rotation

The Bucks’ ability to create instant offense was on display towards the end of the quarter as Giannis was able to find his way to the rim, and find open team-mates for threes. The Bucks were otherworldly from three to start shooting 67% from beyond the arc. They were also really good from the field, shooting 62%.

The Heat battled back, but a buzzer beater three by Brook Lopez sent the Heat to the bench down 11.

Second Quarter:

Goran was sent to the line for three free throws to start the quarter, he sunk them all. On defense, Middleton continued his assault on the Heat from beyond the arc.

Miami’s offense was out of sorts, while they had their moments the ball sharing they’re know for was not as apparent. Thankfully, some beautiful dishes to Bam for easy dunks allowed the Heat to get within four.

Goran Dragic continued to show why he’s al All-Star caliber offensive force as he got the Heat on the verge of taking over the lead, but Milwaukee’s uncanny shooting percentages persisted keeping them at Bay.

For Miami, Jae Crowder continued to be a Bucks’ killer from three point range. He was also great defending Giannis, getting him into foul trouble before the end of the half and limiting him to just nine points for the half. The Heat also got in rhythm to end the half with Jimmy getting to the rim, Goran delivering from beyond the arc and Kendrick Nunn putting up some points.

Kelly Olynyk hit a three to end the half. The Heat went into the second half only down three.

Third Quarter

Jae Crowder opened the half with his third trip to tie up the game, but Matthews and Giannis would hit two at the other end right after keeping Milwaukee ahead.

Bam Adebayo was a force, finishing plays off misses, snatching a ton of rebounds and delivering a clinic on how to create offense off screens. Goran Dragic also continued to feast slashing to the rim. The Bucks has no answer for him at all. On the other hand, the Heat didn’t really have an answer for Khris Middleton who continued his best Steph Curry impression.

Jimmy Butler was also able to get into a groove (though he was already playing well), hitting a three, getting to the line with ease and converting on a couple of highlight reel dunks. Playoff Jimmy is the real deal.

The Heat found itself tied, with an opportunity to take the lead as the Bucks’ three point shooting fell back to Earth. Jimmy would get them ahead for the first time in the game. This would lead to some great possessions by Bam, Herro and Dragic.

Miami had to fight to keep the lead heading into the fourth, with Goran Dragic leading the charge. It worked as the Heat took a six point lead into the fourth.

Fourth Quarter:

The Bucks fought back to start the fourth led by their MVP, Giannis. But the Heat wouldn’t flinch with Jae Crowder continuing to play excellent defense and role players stepping up.

Still, despite defensive success Miami’s offense was stagnant only scoring three points in the first five minutes of the quarter.

Jimmy broke Miami out of their scoring drought, and Bam continued off that hitting a nice midrange jumper. If Bam can continue to hit those shots, he will be nearly unstoppable as the Bucks are backing way off every time he gets the ball in the midrange anticipating a drive.

Middleton got the Bucks back within two, but Jimmy would explode offensively dominating in the paint, hitting another three pointer and hitting midrange jumpers in isolation. Herro also hit a huge three to keep Miami ahead. Jimmy would tie things up, and shatter his career record for playoff points. He was amazing.

Jimmy wouldn’t slow down, and the Bucks had no answers. He’d run the lead up and the Heat would win 115-104.