BRIAN FLUHARTY/USA TODAY SPORTS
Heat’s Jimmy Butler (C) goes up for a basket during a victory over the Celtics in Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference finals in Boston, MA, US, on May 27, 2022.
Ten years after LeBron James had 45 points in Boston to help the Heat avoid Game 6 elimination en route to the first of their back-to-back NBA titles, Butler scored 17 points in the fourth quarter to top him and send the series back to Miami, The Associated Press reported.
With a victory at home on Sunday night, the Heat would advance to the NBA Finals for the second time in three years.
In the most back-and-forth game of the series, Boston took a 97-94 lead on Derrick White’s 3-pointer with under five minutes to play – the first time all series the lead has changed hands in the fourth quarter. Kyle Lowry answered with a 3 and then added two free throws as Miami scored 11 of the next 13 points.
Lowry finished with 18 points and 10 assists before fouling out with 2:18 left. Butler made 16 of 29 shots, hitting 4 of 8 from 3-point range and all 11 free throws.
Jayson Tatum had 30 points and nine rebounds and Derrick White came off the bench to score 11 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter for Boston. The Celtics are trying to reach the finals for the first time since 2010.
Boston’s Jaylen Brown scored 20 points, missing a pair of free throws with the game tied at 99 after Lowry fouled out.