PHILADELPHIA —They will play in the Eastern Conference Finals for the second consecutive year, three years after they won the championship. 99-90 in Game 6 their second-round series on Wednesday night.
As it has been all throughout the series, it wasHe was the one who led his team when they needed him most. After being 3-for-10 in halftime, Butler started to get going in the third quarter. He scored 14 of his 32 points and led his team to the finish.
For the second consecutive game, he took over offensive responsibility. He scored 16 of his 20 points in halftime. This set the tone for a Heat team that was confident they would win after being just 14-for 65 from beyond the arc in losses to Philadelphia's Games 3 and 4.
The main storylines during and after the series were Embiid's injuries. Butler's overall performance has been the highlight of the series over the last week-and-a half. Embiid also had a ligament injury in the thumb and an orbital bone fracture.
After a poor Game 1, in which he shot just 5-for-16, Butler quickly found his rhythm and was able to push his game closer to the level that he played during the playoffs 2020. Butler scored 73 points in Games 3 and 4, and had 23 points and nine rebounds, as well as six assists, during Tuesday's crucial Game 5.
Butler stated after Game 5 that “more than anything, my teammates and my coaches really believe in me,” explaining why he was able to consistently raise his game over his three years in Miami. “The player I have become over the years. They let me be me.
They allow me to hoop without saying too much. They rock with me, good, bad, or indifferent. That's the best feeling, especially in these playoffs. That's why coach Pat is so special. [Riley]I brought you here and we are now where we are.”
The Heat now await the winner of this year's Heat Cup– series. The Bucks are leading by a score of 3-2 in the series. The Bucks are leading 3-2 in the series. Game 6 will be played Friday night in Milwaukee.
The third consecutive season that the two teams have met in the playoffs would see a Bucks-Heat matchup. Before the Bucks beat them in the Eastern Conference semifinals of 2020, the Heat beat them in 2021.