Butler and Adebayo ignite Heat to G6 win over Knicks

Butler and Adebayo ignite Heat to G6 win over Knicks and reach East Final – ESPN – ESPN.co.uk

Andrew LopezESPNM13. May 2023, 03:352 minutes read

MIAMI — In the dressing room after a Game 4 win, veteran Miami forward Kevin Love told reporters the Heat know who to turn to when the game is over — Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. On Friday night in Game 6, it was those two players who carried the Heat to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second year in a row.

Butler had 24 points and eight rebounds while Adebayo had 23 points and nine boards as the Heat defeated the New York Knicks 96-92 to win the series 4-2.

Butler hit two free throws with 14.4 seconds left, adding to the ice as the Heat thwarted any attempt at a Knicks comeback.

With the win, the Heat advanced to the conference finals as the second No. 8 in NBA history. The only other team to do so was the 1998-99 Knicks, who eventually made it to the NBA Finals that season.

For the Knicks, the loss means they still haven’t reached a conference finals since 2000. The only other teams in the NBA that haven’t made it to the conference finals in a while are the Washington Wizards (1979) and the Charlotte Hornets (never).

This is the seventh conference finals appearance for the Heat under Erik Spoelstra, who took charge of the 2008-09 team.

New York took a 31-17 lead, but the Heat kept the Knicks scoreless in the final 2:40 of the first quarter and reduced that lead before the start of the second quarter. After the Knicks started the second quarter with a 3-point shot from Jalen Brunson, the Heat responded 13-2 and took the lead at 7:48 after a dunk by Bam Adebayo, allowing Tom Thibodeau to time out and Brunsons Bet completed time on the bench.

Miami led 51-50 at halftime and never fell behind in the second half.

When the Heat defeated the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 5 and won their first-round series, they were 16 behind. That makes Miami just the second team in the past 25 years to win multiple series in a single postseason with a comeback of 14+ points in the deciding game, according to ESPN Stats & Information, and a transfer to the 2019 Portland Trail Blazers.