The Milwaukee Bucks played the game without their greatest player for a large portion. It was the Miami Heat that did this.
It was the primary factor that determined the outcome. Sunday, the top-seeded Bucks were dealt an early setback on their road to a title, and it was a tough loss for them to take.
In Sunday’s first game of the Eastern Conference playoffs, Jimmy Butler scored 35 points and handed out 11 assists. The Miami Heat defeated the Milwaukee Bucks by a score of 130-117, taking advantage of the fact that Giannis Antetokounmpo could not participate due to an injury. Because of Butler’s brilliant effort, the Heat overcame the loss of Tyler Herro, who fractured his right-hand diving for a loose ball shortly before halftime. This allowed the Heat to take the lead in the second half.
Erik Spoelstra, the coach of the Heat, had this to say about one of his players: “He’s simply a terrific competitor.” “He is capable of doing it at both ends of the floor. He has an inherent understanding of what’s required at various points over the course of a match. It was evident that we needed some offensive punch, some triggers, and something to calm all of us down, and this was especially true once we learned that Tyler would not be available. Jimmy could pull it off with various clever and innovative methods.
Antetokounmpo has a bruise on his lower back, and the Bucks are now waiting to hear how long it will be before they can play again with their star player.
With still 4 minutes and 13 seconds remaining in the first quarter, Antetokounmpo was driving to the hoop when Kevin Love fouled him, causing him to fall awkwardly on his rear. The two-time Most Valuable Player stood up slowly, remained in the game to take his free throws, and then went to the locker room around two and a half minutes after receiving his second foul.
Antetokounmpo went to the locker room for a second time with 8 minutes and 33 seconds left in the first half of the game. Despite returning to the game with 9 minutes and 56 seconds left in the second quarter, he was ruled out for the remainder of the game shortly after his second trip.
According to Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer, an X-ray revealed no damage to the area. “We’ll keep an eye on him and see how he does, how he wakes up, and how he feels over the remainder of the night and into tomorrow,” we said.
This game took on a unique atmosphere because Antetokounmpo and Herro had to leave it early, which caused both sides to make adjustments on the fly.
Nobody reacted to the situation better than Butler, who scored 15 of 27 from the field, leading the way as the Heat established a new club scoring record for a playoff game and shot 59.5% from the floor as a team.
According to Butler, “I just control what I can control at the end, which is to play basketball the proper way, regardless of who’s out there on the court on either my side or the opposition team.” “Continue to take a proactive stance. See to it that my comrades have their vaccinations. “Defend how I’m meant to defend, and do everything it takes to ensure that my team wins.”
In addition, the Heat made the most of a significant edge from beyond the three-point line. When shooting from beyond the arc, the Heat were a remarkable 15 of 25, while the Bucks could only muster 11 of 45.
Bam Adebayo led the Heat in scoring with 22 points, and he also pulled down 9 rebounds and dished out 7 assists.
Khris Middleton led the Bucks in scoring 33 points, while Bobby Portis contributed 21 points to the team’s total.
As a result of the lengthy break, the Bucks seemed out of sync with the rest of the team, allowing Miami to grab control of the game early on. Since at least April 5, when the Bucks triumphed in Chicago and clinched the best regular-season record in the NBA and the top playoff seed, none of the team’s starters had participated in a game for the Bucks.
The Bucks took the lead once, when the score was 4-2, thanks to the Heat’s poor defense.
Jrue Holiday, a guard for Milwaukee, scored 16 points, 16 assists, and shot just six of eighteen times while having a strong performance overall. He added, “They played well.” “It seemed as if they had a rhythm, as they were attacking the basket and getting to the free throw line quite a bit. There are a number of things that we need to accomplish, such as beginning our work more productively.
The Bucks continued trying to make a run, but Butler ensured that the Heat responded to each attempt with a basket every time.
Love, who finished with 18 points and eight rebounds, said of the opponent after the game, “He’s perhaps the greatest closing.” “It is unfathomable what he can do out there in the field. He is the head of this organization. He decides how we should conduct ourselves as a group. When it comes to finishing a game, I would rather have him than anybody else in the league.
During the regular season, the Heat had a 3-point percentage of.344, which was good for only 27th in the NBA… Having a significant advantage in the number of points scored in the paint, 62 to 46… They were 17-24 while playing on the road, with a 9-17 record when competing against clubs from the East… Before suffering an injury, Herro scored 12 points in the scoring column.
Bucks: Made 73.9% of their two-point shots (34 of 46), which equates to a shooting percentage of 73.9%… The Milwaukee Bucks have had the top overall playoff seed in the National Basketball Association for three of the last five seasons. On the other two occasions, Toronto defeated them in the East finals in 2019 and Miami in the East semifinals in 2020. Each of these losses occurred in the Eastern Conference. When Milwaukee finally took home the NBA championship in 2021, the Bucks were the third seed in the Eastern Conference. The Bucks are making their seventh straight appearance in the playoffs, the second-longest current run in the NBA behind only Boston’s nine consecutive appearances. The stretch of time from 1980 to 1991 holds the record for a single club’s most consecutive playoff appearances.