Heat Close Out 76ers to Make the Eastern Conference Finals

Jimmy Butler during an NBA All-Star Game in 2017
Jimmy Butler during an NBA All-Star Game in 2017. Photo by Stephen Lew/CSM/REX/Shutterstock

The Miami Heat are the first team to take care of the business in the second round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs. The Heat beat the Philadelphia 76ers 99-90 in the deciding Game 6 to win the series 4-2 and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

All-Star Jimmy Butler was once again the difference maker for Miami, scoring 32 points and adding eight rebounds and four assists. Butler was particularly hot in the third quarter, scoring 14 points to put the game out of the 76ers’ reach. The 32-year-old player averaged 27.5 points in the series against Philly.

“Jimmy is a great competitor,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra after the game. “I think he’s one of the ultimate competitors in this profession.”

The Heat also saw a big contribution from shooting guard Max Strauss, a former two-way contract player, who had 20 points, 11 boards, and five assists. Veteran P.J. Tucker added 12 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks.

MVP candidate Joel Embiid scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the 76ers but saw little help from the rest of his team. This was particularly the case with superstar James Harden, who once again struggled to make an impact. Harden only attempted nine shots and finished the night with 11 points.

The Heat, who will play in their second Eastern Conference Finals in three years, now waits to see who wins the matchup between the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks. The first Eastern Conference Finals game is scheduled for May 17.

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