While Miami Heat already won the first game of the conference semis, the OKC Thunder and Houston Rockets are still playing their first-round series.
Miami Stops Giannis
The Heat beat Milwaukee 115-104, thanks to fantastic Jimmy Butler, who dropped 40 points on the Bucks’ defense. Even though his match started with Giannis making a monster rejection when Butler tried to dunk over him, as time went by, the former 76ers, Timberwolves, and Bulls player kept on harassing the defense.
That was especially noticeable in the last quarter, with Buttler scoring seven unanswered points, giving his team a lead which they kept until the end.
Yet, it wasn’t easy for both him and his teammates. Milwaukee was superb in the first sequences, dropping 40 points, eleven more than the rivals. Bucks had six three-pointers and fired-up Brook Lopez, who scored 11 in that period.
However, Miami had a solution, and they shut down the Bucks in the next three quarters, with the No.1 seed scoring 23 points in the second and the third and just 18 in the final.
Butler had 40 points with 13 made field goal attempts in 20. Goran Dragic was there to help with 27 buckets, six boards and five assists, outplaying the Bucks’ backcourt like just a few players did since the NBA’s restart. Bam Adebayo needs to be credited due to his fantastic defensive contribution and all the dirty job he did perfectly.
The young center had 12 points, 17 boards, 11 in defense. Bam would have six assists and two steals.
For the Bucks, Middleton had 28, six boards and five assists, Brook Lopez 24, shooting 8-for-10. Kyle Korver delivered 11.
Even though Giannis Antetokounmpo lacked one assist for a triple-double, he can be very unhappy with the last night’s performance. The MVP played 37 minutes, added 18 points, 10 rebounds, and 9 dimes. He was 4-for-12 from the free-throw line.
Westbrook’s Meltdown Hands OKC a Win
Several pretty unreasonable actions taken from Russell Westbrook in the final moments last night’s game cost his team a win. He would make such amateur mistakes against his former team, that OKC simply had to win. The final result was 104-100 for Thunder.
Chris Paul seized the leading role on the floor, dropping 15 of his 28 points in the final period, among them two free throws with 13.1 seconds to go, once OKC captured a 102-100 lead and two back-to-back threes which brought them back into life during the final 12 minutes.
CP played 40 minutes and had seven boards and 10-for-20 from the floor. Besides him, Danilo Gallinari presented superb support with 25 buckets and five boards.
Dennis Schroder had 12, Dort 13, and Gilgeous-Alexander 10 points.
With the series on the line, Westbrook had two huge turnovers, and one air-ball, which killed Houston’s chances to win.
In 27 minutes, No.0 notched 17 points and four boards. James Harden was the leading scorer in Houston with 32 points, but with a bad shooting from behind the arc, 3-for-11. Robert Covington had 18 points, and House Jr 12.
Game seven is this Wednesday night, and whoever wins meets the Lakers in the West semifinals.