The Miami Heat strike first in their second-round matchup against the Miami Heat, securing a 115-104 win to take a 1-0 series lead.
Jimmy Butler showed exactly why Miami brought him to town in the off-season, exploding for a playoff career-high 40 points, taking over down the stretch with big bucket after big bucket.
Goran Dragic added 27 points and Bam Adebayo 12 points, 17 rebounds, and six assists.
For the Bucks, Khris Middleton led the way with 28 points, while Brook Lopez added 24, with the pair lighting up in the first half.
Here are the key takeaways from today's game.
1. Butler is big time
Jimmy Butler was a man on a mission in Game 1, scoring 40 points, including 13 of the Heat's last 16 points to seal the win.
Jimmy Butler. Taking over.- NBA (@NBA) September 1, 2020
📺: @NBAonTNT pic.twitter.com/ftFZSOuYF1
Butler shot an efficient 13-of-20 from the field, 2-of-2 from the 3-point line and 12-of-13 at the chairty stripe, driving to the basket and will and finding his spots from mid-range with ease.
He also became the first Heat player with 40+ points in a playoff game since LeBron James in 2014.
Jimmy Butler is the 4th player in Heat history with a 35-point game in the playoffs, joining Dwyane Wade (14x), LeBron James (9x) and Tim Hardaway (1x). pic.twitter.com/WGztThyZIg- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 1, 2020
After trailing at the half, Butler kick-started the rally in the third quarter with the Heat down 73-68. After burying two free throws, he scored 12 straight points to put the Heat in control.
2. A tough night for Giannis
Giannis Antetokounmpo struggled to get going in Game 1, thanks largely to the blanket of defenders the Heat threw at him.
Between Butler, Bam Adebayo, Andre Iguodala and Jae Crowder, the Heat did a fantastic job of limiting Antetokounmpo's presence in the paint, shooting just 6-of-12 from the field, 2-of-5 from the 3-point line and just 4-of-12 at the free-throw line.
He finished with a line of 18 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists, and six turnovers, with the Heat limiting him to just three points in the fourth quarter.
Giannis in the 4th quarter vs the Heat:- StatMuse (@statmuse) September 1, 2020
3 TOV pic.twitter.com/FKHC4WXMWq
The Heat showed in the regular season how well they're equipped to deal with the reigning MVP on the defensive end, holding him to 13 points on 18 shots in March - one of his worst games of the season.
3. Tyler Herro goes bang!
The rookie guard has become a fixture in the Heat's closing lineups, with his elite floor-spacing and scoring ability proving valuable late in games.
He did it again in Game 1, drilling a clutch 3-pointer with 1:34 remaining to extend the lead to 109-101, effectively sealing the win.
Soooooo COLD- Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) September 1, 2020
👶🐐 @raf_tyler pic.twitter.com/4GlqOlIdvt
4. Heat defence stands tall
After giving up 40 points in the first quarter, the Miami Heat tightened the screws on the defensive end, holding the Bucks to just 64 points the rest of the way.
Impressively they also held the Bucks to just 24 points in the paint, well below their average of 43.6 per game in the playoffs.
From cutting off transition opportunities to walling off the perimeter, the Heat forced the Bucks into plenty of tough shots from the perimeter.
5. Playoff Dragic
While Butler took over the second half, the first half belonged to Goran Dragic, who scored 19 of his 27 points in the opening 24 minutes.
Goran Dragic was doing Goran Dragic things in the 1st half:- Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) September 1, 2020
🐉 19 Pts pic.twitter.com/bE4lE38wg3
Dragic has been flying under the radar for the Heat, but his poise and scoring ability is proving to be the perfect recipe alongside Butler's heroics.
6. Up Next?
The two teams will face off again in less than 48 hours as the Bucks look to level the series.
Game 2 tips off Thursday, September 3 at 4:00 a.m. IST.
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