Jimmy Butler showed the wild youngsters from Boston how it’s done because the Miami Heat was too hot for the Boston Celtics. Miami made an impressive comeback against the Celtics in the second half, blasting past them 118-109 at the FTX Arena. Miami leave with a crucial 1-0 lead over second-seeded Boston as they continue their campaign in the quest for a second conference championship in two years. Butler was in red-hot form as he dropped 41 points in a masterclass in points, playmaking and defense of the Miami Heat’s Talisman.
Marching into elite territory, Butler had his 5th playoff game with a 40+ point score, just short of Dwayne Wade’s franchise record of 7 such games. Butler joined Heat in 2019 and is gradually reaching his best with a wide range of teammates at his side. Jimmy Butler dropped an amazing 41 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists in the win while Tyler Herro added 18 points off the bench for the heat.
Miami upped the pressure on defense in the second half, making life difficult for Jayson Tatum and Boston. Tatum had 21 points in the first half but finished the game with 29 points while Jaylen Brown added 24 points. While Butler put on a scintillating show, he was struck by the exploits of none other than PJ Tucker. Tucker held Tatum’s shackles in the 2nd half as the Boston power forward was only able to score 8 points during that period.
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“I didn’t know I could fall in love with a player like I did in PJ” – Jimmy Butler
Boston was in the driver’s seat with a seat belt on at halftime and sat on an 8-point cushion while Miami struggled to hit their shots from the middle. Miami entered the tunnel at halftime after missing his first 7 shots of the half while eight points down and was in dire need of inspiration from Miami coach Erik Spoelstra in the locker room.
As it turned out, Jimmy Butler didn’t need one and let his game do the talking. Butler was impeccable throughout the game but really got into the ‘zone’ in the second half where he scored 27 of his 41 points that night. He did much of his damage on the free-throw line, where he racked up 17 points as he excelled at getting multiple defenders to foul him with fake pump shots.
The “tuck wagon” was listed as questionable on the Miami Heat’s injury report due to an ongoing calf injury. Tucker went in the second quarter to get his right ankle re-taped and then returned for the second half. The tape worked its magic as Tucker was rejuvenated in the second half, stopping Tatum at every step, giving him no space and struggling endlessly to break his concentration. Tatum was able to score a measly 8 points in the last two quarters as Tucker’s physicality locked him out.
Miami hit back hard in the 3rd quarter with a brutal 22-2 scoring and won the 3rd quarter 39-14 while Boston was left stunned.
“I continued to play basketball properly: shoot the ball when I’m open, attack, hit the open guy. To be honest, it was a team effort. I didn’t know I would fall in love with a basketball player the way I fell in love with PJ. He takes care of his body, comes in and works on his game every day. He does everything he has to do to be a great player.” Jimmy Butler was all praise for his teammate PJ Tucker
A satisfying win meant Butler was his usual happy self. So much so that the 6-time All-Star couldn’t help but confess his undeniable love for teammate PJ Tucker and the standout defensive shift he used today to help his team cross the finish line. Tucker is proving to be a valuable asset for Miami and his performances, combined with Butler’s best postseason form, could make Miami’s championship dreams come true!
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https://firstsportz.com/nba-news-jimmy-butler-confesses-growing-love-for-miami-heat-teammate/ “I didn’t know I was going to fall in love with a basketball player” Jimmy Butler admits growing love for his Miami Heat teammate after Game 1 heroics