Jimmy Butler scored 42 points as the Miami Heat staged yet another stunning comeback to send the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks crashing out of the NBA playoffs in overtime on Wednesday.
Butler, who scored 56 points in a dazzling game four win on Monday, conjured another virtuoso display as eighth seeds Miami completed a 4-1 series triumph with a 128-126 victory.
It is only the sixth time in NBA history that an eighth-seeded team has eliminated the No.1 seeds from the playoffs.
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Yet the Bucks — who finished the regular season on top of the Eastern Conference with the best record in the NBA — were left ruing another fourth quarter meltdown as Miami celebrated in Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum arena.
Milwaukee, who had blown a double-digit lead in Monday’s game-four loss in Miami, were ahead by 16 points early in the fourth quarter on Wednesday.
But with a crucial victory in sight, the Bucks’ fragility was exposed once more as Miami began chipping away at the lead.
The Heat outscored Milwaukee 32-16 in the fourth quarter, with Butler grabbing a sensational alley-oop to tie the game at 118-118 with just 0.5 seconds left on the clock.
Miami then led throughout overtime with Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo giving up a costly foul with 40 seconds of overtime remaining that allowed the Heat to take a 128-124 lead.
New York Knicks Down Cleveland Cavaliers
The New York Knicks defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 106-95 to complete a 4-1 series victory and advance to the NBA Eastern Conference playoff semi-finals on Wednesday.
Jalen Brunson scored 23 points and RJ Barrett 21 as the Knicks produced a clinical wire-to-wire victory on the road to book their place in the next round.
The win was New York’s first playoff series victory since 2013.
Needing a win to stay alive on their home court, Cleveland were left chasing the game after the Knicks surged into a 33-26 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Cavs were never able to claw back that deficit, as the Knicks balanced offense continued to score consistently throughout.
Cleveland managed to get within six points in the fourth quarter, but the Knicks promptly stitched together a 10-2 run to take the game away from the hosts.
Six Knicks players finished in double figures, with Immanuel Quickley scoring 19 and Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson 13 points apiece.
The only sour note for New York was an injury to Randle, who left the game late in the second quarter after appearing to roll his left ankle.
Randle has had problems with his left ankle after a sprain in March although he returned for game one of the series with Cleveland.
Memphis Grizzlies clawing back against LA Lakers
Ja Morant led a superb second-half rally as the Memphis Grizzlies kept their NBA playoff campaign alive with a 116-99 victory over LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.
Memphis, down 3-1 in the best-of-seven Western Conference series after defeat in game four, looked to be in control after opening up a 17-point lead in the first half in front of their raucous home fans at the FedEx Forum.
But the hosts appeared to be wobbling in the third quarter after the Lakers rallied at the start of the second half to close to within a point of Memphis at 75-74.
Yet that was the cue for Morant to lead a devastating 19-2 run to close the third quarter that effectively sealed victory for the Grizzlies, who led 94-76 heading into the fourth.
Morant finished with 31 points and 10 assists from 13-of-26 shooting while Desmond Bane led the Memphis scoring with 33 points.
Afterwards, Morant said the Grizzlies had been inspired by their loud home crowd.
“This is our home floor, our home crowd and we feed off their energy. This is who we do it for,” Morant said.
“Coming out here and protecting home floor is something we take pride in and something we plan to continue to do.”
The Lakers meanwhile were left chasing the game after a rare off night from James.
The Lakers superstar – the hero of Monday’s epic game-four win in Los Angeles – finished with just 15 points from 5-of-17 shooting, with just one three-pointer from nine attempts.
With James struggling to get going, it was left to Anthony Davis to keep the Lakers in the hunt.
The Los Angeles center finished with 31 points and 19 rebounds.
Game six in the series will take place in Los Angeles on Friday.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)