After defeating the New York Knicks 4-2 in their series, the Miami Heat have won their third Conference final in four years. The Heat, led by Spoelstra, are only the second team in NBA history to reach this goal from the eighth seed, the first being the Knicks in 1998-99. The team now awaits the outcome of the match between the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers, with game-7 scheduled for tomorrow.
Miami struggled on defense and allowed the opponent to make 11 consecutive shots in the first quarter. They finished the quarter down 31-24. However, Spoelstra rallied his team, and they were able to overcome the deficit and lead 51-50 at halftime. The Heat kept the game close throughout and secured the victory in the final minutes. Gabe Vincent hit Brunton in the face with one minute remaining in the game, resulting in a technical foul, two free throws, and possession for the Knicks. Hart scored to pull the Knicks within two points, but Brunson missed the shot, and the Heat went on to win the game 96-92.
Jimmy Butler led the way for the Heat once again, finishing with 24 points despite struggling with his shooting, going 7/22 from the field. Bam Adebayo had a strong game as well, scoring 23 points. In addition, Max Strus had 14 points and Kyle Lowry had 11 points and nine assists off the bench.
Despite a career-high 41-point performance from Brunson, the Knicks were unable to overcome their deficiencies elsewhere. Julius Randle finished with 15 points, while RJ Barrett and Josh Hart each had 11 points. With the victory, the Heat will now await the winner of the series between the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers, which will be decided in Game 7.
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