Butler scored a playoff career-high 45 points, including a personal 7-0 run down the stretch to win the game, and the Miami Heat defeated the Atlanta Hawks 115-105 Tuesday night in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference first-round series.
“We follow him everywhere he goes,” Heat guard Gabe Vincent explained. Butler shot 15 of 25 from the field, 11 of 12 from the free throw line, and 4 of 7 from beyond the arc. As a result, the Heat will go to Atlanta with a 2-0 advantage. Tyler Herro scored 15 points for Miami, while Max Strus contributed 14 and Vincent added 11.
For Atlanta, Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 19 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter. Trae Young regained his scoring touch in Game 2, scoring 25 points after being restricted to eight in Game 1, but the eighth-seeded Hawks also committed a career-high 10 turnovers.
“If they let them be as rough as they are and do not call fouls, it will be difficult to accomplish anything,” Young said. The Hawks were led by De’Andre Hunter’s 16 points and John Collins’ 13 points and ten rebounds. Butler’s previous postseason high was 40, which he achieved twice, both on the cusp of the Heat’s 2020 NBA Finals run. The Heat required all of his heroics at the time, and they will use them again on Tuesday. With 3:15 remaining, Bogdanovic’s 3-pointer pulled Atlanta to within 104-101.