What a finish!
The Miami Heat escaped with a 116-114 win over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 2, thanks to a pair of Jimmy Butler free throws after time had expired.
The Heat nearly let a six-point lead slip with under 20 seconds remaining after a Butler turnover in the backcourt resulted in a Brook Lopez bucket, before Khris Middleton was fouled on a three-point attempt with 4.3 seconds to go.
He made all three to tie things up at 114-114, before Giannis Antetokounmpo fouled Butler on his last-second shot attempt.
"I knew I was going to make one," Butler said. "That's all that we needed."
🚨PLAYOFF JIMMY GAME WINNER ALERT🚨 pic.twitter.com/lYpxGrkmUI- Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) September 3, 2020
"I'd say we're disappointed with the judgment, the decision, the timing," Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer said post-game of the late foul call.
"It's a tough job. I have a lot of respect for the officials. We have our way of seeing things. We're going to disagree."
The Heat are now two wins away from their first Eastern Conference Finals appearance since 2014 and have won four of their five games against the Bucks this season.
After dropping 40 points in Game 1, Butler struggled to bring that same offensive punch, scoring just 13 points on 3-of-8 shooting, but he had plenty of help. Seven Heat players scored in double figures on the night - a franchise first in playoff history.
All five starters were in double figures, led by 23 points from Goran Dragic - his sixth consecutive game with at least 20 points.
Bam Adebayo added 15 points and nine rebounds, Jae Crowder had 16 points, and Duncan Robinson 13, while Tyler Herro chipped in 17 off the bench and Kelly Olynyk 11.
Goran Dragic this playoffs:- StatMuse (@statmuse) September 3, 2020
He's scored 20 points in 6 straight games - the longest streak of his career in a Heat uniform. pic.twitter.com/t4Ks52zLbC
The Heat's long-range shooting proved to be the difference in this one as they went 17-of-45 from deep, while the Bucks managed just 7-of-25. An extra 30 points from beyond the arc is a lot to overcome in a game decided by two points.
Both the Bucks and Toronto Raptors have dropped their opening two games of their respective series' making it the first time since 1984 that the top two seeds have gone down 2-0.
The Heat are also the first No. 5 seed in NBA history to take a 2-0 series lead over a No. 1 seed.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 29 points, 14 rebounds, and three assists on 10-of-18 shooting from the field and 9-of-13 at the free-throw line.
All fight no quit from the Greek Freak.- Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) September 3, 2020
29PT | 14 REB | 3 AST pic.twitter.com/69YdDRuEAE
While he was more aggressive driving to the hoop in Game 2, the Miami defence still made life tough for Antetokounmpo, walling him off on the perimeter, sending multiple defenders in his direction, and forcing him to make quick decisions with their physical approach.
Heat defense is holding the reigning MVP to 23.5ppg ⚠️- NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) September 3, 2020
Nothing coming easy for Giannis. pic.twitter.com/P7Y5iBz0IF
Khris Middleton finished with 23 points, while Brook Lopez and Eric Bledsoe added 16 apiece and George Hill 14.
The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.