Jimmy Butler had no intention of missing a second of the Miami Heat’s hard-fought win over the Knicks. In Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Sunday, Butler led the No. 8-seeded Heat to a 108-101 victory over the New York Knicks. They had just barely made it into the postseason and now are performing beyond their seeding! The Heat defeated Milwaukee in the first round, becoming the sixth No. 8 seed to defeat a No. 1. They did it with the help of Gabe Vincent’s 20 points.
Photo Creds: (L) YouTube, (R) All U Can Heat (L- Vincent, R- Jevon Carter)
They still don’t resemble the squad that was just three games above .500 when April rolled around. Miami also needed to win a play-in game merely to secure the final Eastern postseason spot. In that series, they scored 124 points on average, trailing Butler’s 37.6 points per contest. They won this game with their tried-and-true defense and rebounding, which has always served them well at this time of year.
Photo Cred: Yahoo Sports (L- Butler, R- Josh Hart)
The fifth-seeded Knicks, who are in the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2013, were led by RJ Barrett’s 26 points and Jalen Brunson’s 25 points. They had a good start and held the lead for the majority of the first half. As the game went on, however, the Heat managed to quiet down the Madison Square Garden crowd. Due to a sprained left ankle, the Knicks were without All-Star forward Julius Randle, and they undoubtedly missed him when the game switched to a half-court format. Tuesday night will be game 2 of the series.
Photo Cred: Fadeaway World (L- Brunson, M- Barrett, R- Randle)