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Heat defeat No. 1 seed Celtics in an entertaining 120-116 OT thriller

Jimmy Butler is back like he never left, coming up huge down the stretch.

NBA: Miami Heat at Boston Celtics Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat come away with the biggest win of the season against the top seeded Boston Celtics in OT 120-116. Miami now improves to 11-12 and leaves TD Garden splitting the back-to-back match ups.

Jimmy Butler returned to the starting line-up and looked like he never even left, finishing with an impressive double-double of 25 points and 15 rebounds on 12/21 shooting. He hit multiple clutch shots towards the end of regulation and overtime that helped fuel the Heat to this much-needed win.

The game was pretty close throughout the whole first half, but Boston was gaining momentum in the 3rd quarter. They went on a run and started to get a big lead, until Miami responded with a run of their own.

The defense tightened up and looked sharp down the stretch, and most importantly Jayson Tatum was held in check. After dropping nearly 50 points the last game, he struggled to shoot the ball tonight finishing with just 14 points and an underwhelming 5/18 from the field. That’s the Jimmy Butler effect, who took the responsibility of guarding Tatum.

Not only did Butler have a great game, but he received the help from the other main guys as well, something that was missing in the Celtics series last playoffs. Bam Adebayo continued his aggressive play offensively, finishing with a team high 28 points and 7 rebounds on 10/18 shooting. Adebayo is averaging 30.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 60.8% fg, and an incredible 96% from the free throw line over the last 4 games. It is safe to say the All-Star big man has arrived.

The help didn’t end there though, as Tyler Herro contributed a 26 point, 5 rebound, and 3 assist outing while nailing a season high six 3 pointers.

Kyle Lowry, who has been reliable and solid in every sort of way, added 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. It was awesome to see Miami’s big names all have huge nights as a collective group. They were efficient and impressive on both sides of the ball.

The role players also played a part in this win. Caleb Martin pitched in 10 points and provided nice defense. Haywood Highsmith, although didn’t score much but had a clutch floater, proved to be the versatile defender that he has been once again. Highsmith even saw minutes when it counted the most, late in the 4th quarter and OT.

This is a big time win for the confidence from this group, to finally have a close to fully healthy roster available and take down the best in the NBA. The Celtics look stacked this year, but to show a resilient effort like this was beautiful to watch. Butler hit multiple clutch shots down the stretch, including some very difficult jumpers with defense draped all over him.

He had a big one with a few seconds left to go in the 4th which gave Miami a 3 point lead only to see Jaylen Brown force overtime shortly after a hail mary 3 pointer that banked in.

It was a tough pill to swallow, knowing that the game could’ve and should’ve been over. However, the Heat never took their foot off the gas in overtime. Maybe Jimmy’s clutch bucket in the 4th didn’t lead to the win right after, but he replicated that with yet another clutch jumper with Al late in OT.

It was a heroic effort from Butler, but it’s not anything Heat Nation isn’t used to seeing. Butler is him, he is Miami’s JIMVP, leader, and go-to bucket getter. He is that guy.

Miami will now travel to Memphis to conclude the 4 game road trip on Monday.