Miami Heat progressed to the NBA Eastern Conference finals after beating top-seeds Milwaukee Bucks in Game 5 of the East semi-finals. Los Angeles Lakers came from behind to take a 2-1 series lead, led by LeBron James against the Houston Rockets in Orlando.
Miami Heat 103-94 Milwaukee Bucks
The fifth-seeded Heat finished off an upset of the NBA’s best regular-season team beating the Milwaukee Bucks 103-94 in Game 5 of their East semi-final series to progress to their first Eastern Conference finals since 2014.
Butler and Goran Dragic each scored 17 points for the Heat, who won the series 4-1 and will face either Boston Celtics or Toronto Raptors when the NBAs final four begins next week.
Jae Crowder scored 16, Tyler Herro scored 14, Bam Adebayo had 13 and Kelly Olynyk had 12 apiece for the Heat.
Khris Middleton scored 23 points for the Bucks and 15 points and 14 rebounds from Brook Lopez. Donte DiVincenzo scored 17, Wesley Matthews and Marvin Williams each had 11 and Eric Bledsoe had nine assists for the Bucks.
Reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo cheered from the sidelines as he was unable to recover from the ankle injury suffered in the previous game.
“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.”
#MIAvsMIL Final: HEAT 103 – Bucks 94
🔥 Butler 17 Pts, 10 Rebs & 6 Asts
🔥 Dragic 17 Pts, 4 Rebs & 2 Asts
🔥 Crowder 16 Pts & 6 Rebs
🔥 Herro 14 Pts, 8 Rebs & 6 Asts
🔥 Bam 13 Pts, 6 Rebs & 2 Asts
🔥 Olynyk 12 Pts & 6 Rebs
🔥 Iguodala 6 Pts, 5 Rebs, 2 Asts & 2 Blks pic.twitter.com/EJd6tEqefd
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) September 9, 2020
Miami Heat became the lowest-seeded team to make the East finals since eighth-seeded New York in 1999. Miami’s seventh trip to the conference finals since 2005, is the most of anyone in the Eastern Conference and matching the most of any team in the NBA in that time.
Houston Rockets 102 – 112 Los Angeles Lakers
After winning four in a row against Portland, Los Angeles Lakers have now beaten Houston in both Games 2 and 3 to take a 2-1 series lead over the Rockets. Tuesday’s win was driven by the LeBron James who carried the Lakers through the first half in scoring 29 points in two quarters, but Rajon Rondo provided a surprising 21 points and nine assists to carry the Lakers to a second consecutive win in the West semis.
Russell Westbrook’s decision-making was shaky at time, but he did end up with 30 points on 13-of-24 shooting. James Harden chipped in 33 points, but the other players put up only 39 points beyond them.
Anthony Davis was also incredible, tallying 26 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists. The Rockets had no answer for him in the second half, despite his lackluster free-throw shooting, which is arguably the most disappointing development of the “new” season.
James’ final stat line of the night was 36 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 blocks. That’s pretty good.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) September 9, 2020
The Lakers will look to increase their series lead to 3-1 on Thursday and are likely to face city rivals Los Angeles Clippers, who lead the Nuggets in the Western Conference final.
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