Miami Heat continued their stroll through the Eastern Conference playoffs on Wednesday night, beating the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in the deciding Game 5 of the second round. With the 103-94 win, Heat completed the gentleman’s sweep over the Bucks with a 4-1 result in the series and advanced to the conference finals.
Bucks entered the game without the reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was sitting out with the ankle injury he suffered in Game 4. Despite this, Milwaukee had a strong opening of the game, closing the first quarter with a nine-point lead.
Heat immediately responded with a huge second quarter, in which they outscored their opponents by 15 points. Miami didn’t have trouble keeping their advantage in the second half and comfortably closed out the game.
By eliminating the Bucks, the Heat are now 8-1 in this year’s playoffs and have emerged as the front-favorites to reach the NBA Finals. They will meet Toronto Raptors or Boston Celtics in the East finals.
The standout players for the Heat on Wednesday night were Jimmy Butler, who had 17 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists, while Goran Dragic and Jae Crowder added 17 points and 16 points, respectively.
The Eastern Conference will be the furthest that Butler reached in the postseason since entering the NBA in 2011.
“It means a lot,” said Butler after the game. “But that’s not my goal. That’s not my guys’ goal. That’s not the organization’s goal. We want to win `it.’ We want a championship and I think that’s what we’re focused on. These next eight are going to be much harder than the previous eight. We know that. But we’re ready for them.”
Buck, on the other hand, were led by Khris Middleton, who had 23 points, seven rebounds, and six assists. Brook Lopez had 15 points and 14 rebounds, while Donte DiVicenzo added 17 points.