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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Thanks to Butler, Heat advance to Conference Finals

PHILADELPHIA ( Associated Press) — Jimmy Butler eliminated Joel Embiid from the playoffs, then walked up to his former 76ers teammate and hugged them, telling him he loved him and was proud of him.

Butler then left a very familiar court — and headed for other conference finals with Miami.

“I’m where I belong now,” Butler admitted. “Where I think I should have been a long time ago.”

Butler scored 32 points and waved goodbye to the Philadelphia crowd as he led the Miami Heat to the Eastern Conference Finals with a 99-90 victory Thursday in Game 6 against the 76ers.

The Heat will now face the winner of the series between Milwaukee and Boston. The defending champion Bucks lead the series 3-2 heading into Game 6 on Friday at Milwaukee.

The Heat reached the conference finals for the second time in three years, again with Butler leading the team. Philadelphia fans — and many within the organization — still can’t believe the franchise let Butler go after the 2019 season. He wasted no time scoring 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field in the third quarter when the Heat took control with a 16-2 run.

“I think he’s one of the best competitors in his profession,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He was brilliant the whole series. The challenges only get more complicated here. He saw that he had a chance to end it tonight and he wasn’t going to let them draw.”

Joel Embiid, the NBA scoring champion, had 20 points for Philadelphia while shooting just 7-for-24.

After winning by 35 points in Game 5, the Heat wore down the Sixers. Embiid looked tired as he tried to carry the equipment. He was unable to jump and watched as his long shot was blocked by Bam Adebayo in the third period.

James Harden scored all 11 of his points in the first half. He lost four balls and made four field goals.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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