In a rematch of the last year’s Eastern Conference final, Miami Heat ousted Boston Celtics by 129-121 at TD Gardens. Heat ace Jimmy Butler could only spend 17 minutes on the court after getting poked in the eye during a collision for the ball.
Miami Heat solidified their stance with the sixth and final direct playoff spot with a vital win away from home.
As the first half was drawing to a close with the Heat holding a slender lead, Jimmy Butler and Marcus Smart collided for the ball which resulted in the former getting poked in the eye.
While the player finished the half, he was replaced by Tyler Herro for the second half. Butler was seen pointing to the eye on the sidelines suggesting problems in vision.
The franchise later put on update stating that it is questionable for the start to return as a result of an eye injury.
In the half which finished 56-62 in favour of the Heat, Butler registered 13 points, 3 assists and 7 rebounds. His replacement Tyler Herro ended up being the top scorer after posting 24 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists.
This makes Butler a major doubt for the game against Eastern Conference leaders and his former franchise Philadelphia 76ers.
Polarising atmospheres in both the camps as Butler and co. clinch playoff spot
Miami Heat have proceeded to clinch a playoff spot with their back-to-back win over the Celtics. On the other hand, the Celtics are all but sure to compete in the play-in tournament to fight for their place in the playoffs.
“It does mean something. We don’t want to act like it’s nothing,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “It’s not everything we want.”
“To have a chance to play for everything is what everyone wants to do,” Duncan Robinson said. “It’s a good first step.”
“It’s a pride thing,” Kemba Walker of the Celtics said. “Individually, we’ve all got to look into the mirror and say: ‘Are we giving everything we’ve got?’ And to be honest, we’re not.” “When you have an opportunity to still make the postseason, you can’t complain about that,”