Heat rally again to win in OT, eliminate top-seeded Bucks

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Jimmy Butler was an extraordinary playmaker while leading the Miami Heat to one of the most stunning first-round playoff upsets in NBA history.

It turns out he also was a heck of a play caller.

Butler scored 42 points and the Heat staged a second straight stunning fourth-quarter rally before winning 128-126 in overtime on Wednesday night in Game 5 to eliminate the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks.

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“We’re a resilient group,” Butler said. “We stick together through everything.”

The Heat advanced to a second-round series with the fifth-seeded New York Knicks, who completed their 4-1 series win over the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier Wednesday. Game 1 is Sunday in New York.

Miami, which had to win a play-in game with Chicago just to get to the first round, became the sixth No. 8 seed to beat a No. 1 seed. The last time it happened was in 2012, when a Philadelphia 76ers team featuring current Bucks guard Jrue Holiday capitalized on Derrick Rose’s knee injury to beat the top-seeded Chicago Bulls.

Two nights after outscoring the Bucks 30-13 in the final six minutes of a 119-115 victory in Miami, the Heat came back from a 16-point, fourth-quarter deficit and tied the game on Butler’s layup with half a second left in regulation.

The Heat trailed 118-116 with 2.1 seconds left and called a timeout when coach Erik Spoelstra drew up a play. Butler didn’t like what he saw and spoke up about it. Spoelstra then changed his mind and set up the tying play, which had Gabe Vincent throwing an inbounds pass to Butler, who was waiting underneath the basket to force overtime.

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“We’ve practiced variations of that play with a bunch of different guys,” Spoelstra said. “I was going to do a different version of it. He just said, ‘No, let me be that guy.’ I just said, ‘OK, but what if we can’t get that pass.’ He said, ‘I’ll get it. Don’t worry about it.’ ”

Butler delivered, as he did this entire series. He averaged 37.6 points, including a 56-point effort in Game 4.

“He’s desperate and urgent and maniacal and sometimes psychotic about the will to try to win,” Spoelstra said. “He’ll make everybody in the building feel it. That’s why he is us and we are him. That’s the way we operate as well.”

The Heat advanced to a second-round series with the fifth-seeded New York Knicks, who completed their 4-1 series win over the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier Wednesday. Game 1 is Sunday in New York.

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