Miami Heat surprised Milwaukee Bucks, one of the most prominent candidates for the NBA champion in basketball, by beating him (115-104) at the start of their confrontations in the second round of the playoff, while Oklahoma City Thunder forced Houston Rockets to play a seventh game in The first round after tying them (3-3). Jimmy Butler imposed himself an undisputed star for the Miami and Bucks match by scoring 40 points (a personal record), including 13 of his team’s last 16 points and 27 in the second half. Butler became only the third player in Miami history to score 40 points in playoff matches, to join superstars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Butler’s best percentage of points was in the playoffs when he scored 36 points in the Philadelphia 76ers’ basket last season. Butler had warned his team-mates before the match not to wait for the ball to pass towards them during the match, saying: “I told my teammates that I would probably not pass the ball. I succeeded with some balls and they said to me, ‘It’s okay’).” “I raised my level in the last quarter. If I have to do that in every game, I will. But there are other players who can do what I did today as well.”And Slovenian Goran Dragic contributed not only by scoring 27 points, but through his defensive effort at the end of the match, as he grabbed the ball from the Greek Pax star, Janis Antitokonpmo, who was satisfied with only 18 points after the defensive control court on him with 10 rebounds and 9 assists. It is the lowest percentage of points for the Greek star in a playoff match since he scored 12 points against the Toronto Raptors in the third match between them in the semi-finals of last season. He also missed 8 free throws out of the 12 scored against Miami. The best scorer for the Bucks was Khris Middleton with 28 points and Brooke Lopez added 24.
Pat Butler is the third player in Miami history to score 40 points in “playoff” matches.
It is reported that Pax lost his opening match in the first round against the Orlando Magic before winning the following four matches to settle the score in his favor (4-1). The Miami Heat trailed in the first half (60-63), but managed to advance over its rival (82-80) at the end of the third quarter.
And the Oklahoma City Thunder imposed a seventh match on the Houston Rockets by beating him (104-100) thanks to 28 points by Chris Paul, including 15 in the last quarter, and he also scored two free throws in the last seconds to secure victory for his team. The best scorer for Houston was James Harden, with 32 points, 8 rebounds and 7 free throws. “This is our metal. This team was built to do this. Many of our players have moved on to other teams, but our strength is solidarity and struggle,” Paul said.
Russell Westbrook (17 points per game) is somewhat responsible for losing his team in the last 40 seconds of the match, because he hit a stray ball when the score was 100-100, and then lost the ball immediately after that 12 seconds before the end of the match to allow Danilo Galinari to settle the score. The match is in favor of his team.
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