Jimmy Butler suffered a serious injury after a fall. Victor Oladipo took the tougher shot. Yet despite everything, the Miami Heat were able to pull off an upset victory against the Milwaukee Bucks and take the initiative back in their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
After scoring 30 points, Butler left the game with a strained glute, but not before helping the eighth-seeded Heat to a 121-99 victory against the top-seeded Bucks on Saturday night. With the win, the Heat took a 2-1 lead in their first-round playoff series against the Bucks.
But what should have been a celebratory postgame – a big win, a series lead, and halfway to upsetting the NBA’s top overall seed – was anything but after Oladipo left the game in the fourth quarter with a knee injury that had the Heat fearing very bad news. The injury had Oladipo going around with a knee injury that had the Heat fearing bad news.
The head coach of the Heat, Erik Spoelstra, said, “I feel probably like how everyone feels.” “It was a wonderful victory, but when you see a guy go down like that – particularly a man like Vic who’s gone through so much in the previous three years… it’s not a nice feeling,” he said. “That’s not a good feeling at all.”
Injuries have evolved into the primary focus of this series at this point. Giannis Antetokounmpo, the two-time NBA Most Valuable Player, could not play for the Bucks for the second game in a row due to a bruised lower back, which he first sustained in Game 1. The Heat was already missing Tyler Herro due to his fractured right hand in Game 1, which was also a factor.
Oladipo’s situation – even though the Heat had not yet provided an initial diagnosis – did not appear to be favorable, based on the instant reaction of disbelief from teammates and staff members who rushed to his side as he grabbed at the knee. Butler was not moving well, and Oladipo’s situation did not appear favorable.
Duncan Robinson, a guard with the Heat, celebrated his 29th birthday by scoring 20 points for Miami when the team was in action. “We’re all wishing for the best,” stated Robinson. The Heat was led in scoring by Kyle Lowry, who had 15.
Khris Middleton finished with 23 points for Milwaukee, Jrue Holiday contributed 19, and Grayson Allen scored 14.
The Heat will want to extend their advantage to 3-1 in Game 4, which will take place on Monday night in Miami. Game 1 went to Miami, and Milwaukee won Game 2. Miami won game 3, and it will be up to Milwaukee to try and pull off another comeback.
Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer said his team must improve: “We need to be better.” “As I mentioned before, you have to give them credit. They gave a good performance. We have to work on becoming better. We need to be better at dealing with a variety of different things. That will be our obstacle when we play the next game.”
With this victory, the Heat has put themselves in a position to pull off an upset of the highest seed in the tournament, which has only been accomplished four times since the NBA expanded to a 16-team playoff structure in 1984.
Those teams that were able to pull it off include Denver, which won 3-2 against Seattle in 1994. New York won 3-2 against Miami in 1999, and Golden State won 4-2 against Dallas in 2007. Memphis won 4-2 against San Antonio in 2011, and Philadelphia won 4-2 against Chicago in 2012.
After falling on his back while attempting a shot close to the basket in the middle of the third quarter, Butler sustained an injury that required medical attention. He returned to the game with a huge bandage over his back, and the Heat announced that he would be back after a brief absence in the locker room. He remained in the game for a short period of time before leaving.
He didn’t do anything since he was not required to do so. The game was over, and Miami would lead by as much as 29 points at one point.
Middleton said that “We still had our opportunities.” “I just couldn’t get it together,” the speaker said.
The Hurricanes’ performance in the first half was no better. Although Butler scored 17 points in the first quarter, the Heat went on a run of 19-0 at one point, and they established a new record for the most three-pointers made in a half by hitting 12. The score was only 66-53 at the half.
The reason, once again, was that Milwaukee was getting 3’s again. The Bucks had a comfortable victory in Game 2 by making 25 of them, and they were 10 for 18 from deep in the first half of Saturday’s game.
Nevertheless, the Bucks slumped after halftime, hitting just 5 of 21 from 3-point range. As a result, the game’s conclusion was never in question.
Bucks: Holiday scored 10 points in the first 4 minutes and 43 seconds of play. Just once more this season, as he hit 10 points in a game quicker than he did against Toronto on January 17 when he did so in 4:18 minutes. Pat Connaughton was the Milwaukee player who scored 11 points.
Kevin Love has made his way back into the starting lineup for the Heat. Before this year, Robinson had only played in one previous Heat game on his birthday, and that was the year before when Atlanta eliminated Miami in Game 3 of their first-round series by a score of 111-110. Before then, Miami had a perfect record of 6-0 in games played on April 22. Courtside, you may find Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel.