BOSTON — The Miami Heat roster resembled more of a MASH unit coming into Friday night, where many would have understood if the team’s health could no longer resist the Boston Celtics’ determined effort to get back to the NBA Finals. Instead of a coronation, Jimmy Butler, with one good knee and all, treated everyone at TD Garden to a Jordanesque performance that has tilted Eastern Conference Finals seesaw back to South Beach.
Butler scored a playoff career-high 47 points to go along with nine rebounds, eight assists and four steals, almost singlehandedly willing the Miami Heat across the Game 6 finish line in a 111-103 victory over the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Another of Miami’s walking wounded, guard Kyle Lowry, scored five consecutive points late in the game to thwart a Boston rally that saw the Celtics briefly take the lead, and now Game 7 of the series will be back in Miami on Sunday night.
In recording his fourth 40-point game of this postseason, Butler became only the second player in postseason history to post multiple games of at least 40 points and four steals in the same series, joining Michael Jordan’s first-round performances against Cleveland in 1988.
“Jimmy just brought his competitive will tonight,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “It was a will that would not let us lose.”
Lowry was much more succinct in his observation of Butler’s masterpiece.
“It’s fucking incredible.”.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Friday evening’s Game 6, with all photos taken by ALOST photographer Jenny Rohl. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are seven pictures in total.