MIAMI — In the locker room after their Game 4 win, Miami Heat veteran forward Kevin Love told reporters the Heat know who to go for when the game gets closer, Jimmy Butler and Bam. – Said it was Adebayo. It was these two players who led the Heat to their second straight Eastern Conference finals Friday night in Game 6.
Butler had 24 points and eight rebounds, Adebayo had 23 points and nine boards as the Heat beat the New York Knicks 96-92 to win the series 4-2.
Butler closed the game with two free throws with 14.4 seconds remaining as the Heat blocked the Knicks’ counterattack.
With the win, the Heat became the second No. 8 seed in NBA history to advance to the conference finals. The only team to achieve this was his 1998–99 season with the Knicks, who ultimately made it to the NBA Finals that season.
For the Knicks, the loss means they haven’t reached the conference finals since 2000. Only the Washington Wizards (1979) and the Charlotte Hornets (never) have stayed out of the conference finals for longer in the NBA.
It will be the Heat’s seventh appearance in the Conference Finals under manager Erik Spoelstra, who took over the team in the 2008-09 season.
New York extended their lead to 31-17, but the Heat held the Knicks scoreless until 2:40 left in the first quarter, cutting that lead in half into the second quarter. The Knicks opened the second quarter with Jalen Brunson’s 3-pointer, then took a 13-2 lead with a Bam Adebayo dunk at 7:48 before drawing a timeout from Tom Thibodeau and saving Branson’s short playing time. finished. bench.
Miami led 51-50 at halftime and didn’t fall behind once in the second half. At the end of the first quarter, he held the Knicks to just five times the points.
When the Heat defeated the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 5 to win the series in the first round, the gap was 16. With this, Miami became only the second team in the last 25 years to win multiple series in a single postseason in a comeback. 14+ in the 2019 Portland Trail Blazers playoff game, according to ESPN stats.