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NBA

Jimmy Butler’s drive leads Heat to comeback win

It’s Jimmy Butler’s incessant drive to win that led the Miami Heat to a comeback victory over the Boston Celtics despite a 13-point deficit at halftime.

Jennifer Bubel
Update:

With things looking a bit grim at halftime during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals, the Miami Heat turned things around dramatically in the 3rd quarter against the Boston Celtics. Or perhaps it’s more appropriate to say that Jimmy Butler turned things around.

Though it was a team effort to be sure, it cannot be denied the impact that Butler had on the turn of events in this game, not only due to his scoring. Though, it needs to be mentioned, Butler scored an impressive 41 points, nine rebounds, and five assists by the end of the game. 17 of those points came in an epic third quarter turnaround that saw the Heat hold off the Celtics completely for a whole seven minutes and seven seconds.

It’s Jimmy Butler’s incessant drive to win that led the Miami Heat to a comeback victory over the Boston Celtics despite a 13-point deficit at halftime.
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It’s Jimmy Butler’s incessant drive to win that led the Miami Heat to a comeback victory over the Boston Celtics despite a 13-point deficit at halftime.

Butler was everywhere, on both sides of the court, when and where the Heat needed him to be. Butler applies pressure to the opponent’s offense that allows the Heat’s defense to feed the offense consistently, and that’s exactly what he did in the third quarter.

Butler’s motivation to win led him to take some risks that, fortunately for the Heat, worked out in his favor. His attempts to steal could easily have backfired if he missed. But he didn’t. What he did do was pick off Celtics star Jayson Taytum to shoot for three and a dunk.

“Those two steals kind of changed the momentum,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. “Every time and pocket in the game when we needed to control the game or get the right shot or make the right decision, Jimmy had his fingerprints on that.”

It was exactly the type of risk that led Butler to his massive game, eventually leading his team to the 118-107 victory over the Celtics in Game 1. Game 2 will be played Thursday, May 19 at 8:30 p.m. ET in Miami.

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