Jimmy Butler scored 27 points, hitting back-to-back buckets to tie the game and give Miami the lead, and the eighth-seeded Heat left Boston with a 111-105 victory Friday night and a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.
Jimmy Butler is Miami’s leader this postseason in points, minutes, assists and steals per game. He’s the sommelier at team dinners. He’s the barista when it’s time for coffee.
If all that wasn’t enough, he’s also the DJ.
Wallen’s song is not about basketball, though that’s completely irrelevant to the Heat. These days, Butler is Somebody’s Problem. In fact, he’s Everybody’s Problem. And the Boston Celtics are running out of time to find a solution.
Game 3 of the East finals is Sunday night, with the eighth-seeded Heat leading 2-0 after stunning almost everyone but themselves by going into Boston and winning the first two games of the series — putting themselves in position to reclaim a conference title that the Celtics defeated them for last season.
“I’ve said it all year long,” said Butler, who is averaging 31.1 points in the postseason. “We are going to ride with one another until the wheels fall off.”
The wheels are fine right now. The Heat have won 10 out of 13 games to open the playoffs, after never winning 10 out of 13 during any stretch of the regular season. They toppled top-seeded Milwaukee in Round 1, ousted fifth-seeded New York in Round 2 and now have second-seeded Boston in serious trouble. And they’ve successfully rallied from more 12-point-or-more deficits in these playoffs — six, after doing it again on Friday night — than the rest of the NBA has combined (five) entering Saturday.
Game 3 is Sunday night.
“He’s going to have to make every single tough shot the rest of the series,” Williams said. “And I’m not going to turn and look otherwise because I respect him as an (expletive) player.”
Jayson Tatum had 34 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists for Boston. But the Celtics star went 0 for 3 with two turnovers in the fourth quarter, when Boston blew an 89-77 lead en route to a second home loss in three nights.