The Miami Heat send the Milwaukee Bucks packing with a 103-94 Game 5 win, as they advance to the Eastern Conference finals after winning the best-of-seven series by 4-1.
This makes the fifth-seeded Heat reach the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2014; when LeBron James together with Wade and Bosh were in Miami. Also a first time for Jimmy Butler to reach this far in the playoffs throughout his career.
“It means a lot,” Butler said. “But that’s not my goal. That’s not my guys’ goal. That’s not the organization’s goal. We want to win ‘it.’ We want a championship and I think that’s what we’re focused on. These next eight are going to be much harder than the previous eight. We know that. But we’re ready for them.”
These days, it’s Jimmy Butler who’s been scorching shots for the Heat, getting himself a double-double (17 points, 10 rebounds) on Tuesday.
In total, six other Heat players also reached double-digit scores, Goran Dragic with 17 points, Bam Adebayo with 13 points, Jae Crowder with 16 points, and reserves Kelly Olynyk had 12 points and Tyler Herro made 14.
An overall team effort by the Heat to close the series.
“We have deep, deep respect for that franchise and it’s unfortunate that Giannis couldn’t play tonight,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo did not play in Game 5 after spraining his right ankle in Game 4. We’ll see what the future has in store for the Greek Freak, with Antetokounmpo set to become a free agent in 2021.
“I wanted to play,” Antetokounmpo said. “You know I wanted to play. I know I wanted to play. My coach knows I wanted to play, but at the end of the day, the organization put my health over Game 5. That’s big.’’
Khris Middleton had 23 points for the Bucks, while 15 points and 14 rebounds from Brook Lopez. Donte DiVincenzo scored 17, Wesley Matthews and Marvin Williams each had 11 points, and Eric Bledsoe had nine assists for the Bucks, but the Heat just had a bit more to win Game 5.
As the Heat being the fifth-seeded team in the East this playoffs series, They became the lowest-seeded team to make the East finals since eighth-seeded New York in 1999.
For now, they await their fate until the series between the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors is decided.