The Miami Heat stunned the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series. Behind a monster fourth quarter for Jimmy Butler, who had a career playoff high 40 points on the evening, Miami was able to take one off of the best team in the league. In Wednesday night’s Game 2, Butler didn’t need to have a monster night for the Heat to get a win. Thanks to a more egalitarian effort spearheaded by the rejuvenated Goran Dragic, Miami took a 2-0 series lead with a 116-114 win.
The way that the win happened, though, could not have been more remarkable. With 15 seconds left and the team up six, the Heat gave Giannis Antetokounmpo a free lane to get to the rim. From there, the wildest end of game sequence that we have seen all year occurred, culminating in a walk-off trip to the free throw line for Butler with 0.0 seconds left on the clock and the game tied.
The craziness started with Butler getting the ball in the corner after the Antetokounmpo dunk. He threw a lob at his own rim that ended up in the hands of Brook Lopez, who laid it in easily and cut the lead to two.
Game saving stop and bucket from the Bucks. Wow.
— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) September 3, 2020
After a timeout, Goran Dragic lobbed in a risky inbounds pass to Butler, who went to the line, hit one of two, and gave Miami some breathing room. But on the ensuing possession, a controversial foul call sent Khris Middleton to the line to shoot three. Middleton rose up, Dragic got just close enough to him that a foul was called, and after all three of his shots from the charity stripe went in, we had ourselves a tied ballgame.
— CJ Fogler #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) September 3, 2020
And then, there was the end, which I can’t quite put into justice, so I recommend you just watch.
Have to think Giannis is suspended a few months for this assault pic.twitter.com/iO7L3ufleM
— Čöłęÿ Mīçk (@ColeyMick) September 3, 2020
Antetokounmpo got called for a foul that occurred after the ball left Butler’s hand, which happened with about 0.1 seconds left. As the horn blared, the referee’s whistle blew, signaling a foul on the Defensive Player of the Year and reigning MVP. A review confirmed the call, Butler stepped to the free throw line with no one around him, and hit them both in one of the more surreal visuals we’ve seen this year.
It was, as you can guess, quite the unconventional way for a game to end, as we have not seen this happen in any NBA game since the first Bush was president.
An NBA game has not been decided on FT with time expired since Rolando Blackman on March 4, 1991. Before that it happened *relatively* often
This is the 1st playoff game decided on FT with time expired since Larry Wright led the Bullets over the Sonics in Game 1 of 1979 Finals
— Mike Lynch (@SportInfo247) September 3, 2020
This marked a controversial ending to a fantastic basketball game, one in which Miami got out to an early lead, held on for much of the game, and held off Milwaukee’s multiple attempts to pull off a comeback win during the fourth quarter. Seven Heat players, led by Goran Dragic’s 23, scored in double-figures, while Antetokounmpo had a big night, going for 29 points and 14 rebounds.
Now, the Bucks are in a position where they absolutely have to pick up a win or find themselves in a fairly insurmountable hole, while the Heat inching closer to a return to the conference finals. Game 3 will take place on Friday, with the festivities tipping off at 6:30 p.m. EST on TNT.