Sports | September 9, 2020 9:38 am

Heat Advance to East Finals as Top-Seeded Bucks Head Home

In the night's second game, the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Houston Rockets 112-102

Heat Advance to East Finals as Top-Seeded Bucks Head Home
Giannis Antetokounmpo. of the Milwaukee Bucks congratulates members of the Miami Heat.
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Nursing an injured ankle on the bench, Giannis Antetokounmpo could only watch as the fifth-seeded Miami Heat completed an upset of the NBA’s best regular-season team by beating the Milwaukee Bucks 103-94 on Tuesday night.

Thanks to the win, Jimmy Butler and the Heat are headed to the Eastern Conference finals while Antetokounmpo and the Bucks are headed back to Milwaukee.

Butler and Goran Dragic each scored 17 points in the win for Miami, who will play in the East finals for the first time since 2014.

Antetokounmpo, who is favored to win his second consecutive MVP award, and his teammates never really found their groove in the bubble as some of their focus was certainly on social justice issues, especially after the shooting of Jacob Blake by Wisconsin police. The shooting led the Bucks to boycott a playoff game, a move that other teams soon followed.

“Obviously, it’s hard to balance those two,” Antetokounmpo said of basketball and social justice. “We chose as a team to do both. Is it harder to do both? Yes, it’s harder to do both. But that’s what we chose as a team, to stand up for something that’s bigger than basketball, to stand up for something that we believe, and at the same time play basketball. But it’s not easy.”

In the night’s other game, LeBron James scored 36 points with seven rebounds, five assists and four blocks as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Houston Rockets 112-102 to take a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference playoff series.

For James, it was his 162nd postseason victory, an NBA record. “Nobody impacts winning more than LeBron James,” said Lakers coach Frank Vogel. “That’s true for this season. That’s why he should be MVP. Honestly, it’s probably true in the history of the game. Nobody impacts winning more than LeBron James. To see him have that actual numerical statistic is just indicative of that.”

On Wednesday night in The Association, the Boston Celtics will have the chance to knock off the Toronto Raptors in their second-round series and advance to take on the Heat. In this evening’s other matchup, the LA Clippers will try to take a 3-1 series lead over the Denver Nuggets.

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