NBA play-offs: Jimmy Butler leads Miami Heat to 2-0 series advantage against Boston Celtics
Jimmy Butler scored 27 points for the Miami Heat as they beat the Boston Celtics 111-105 to take a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference finals series.
The Heat trailed by 11 points early in the fourth quarter before a 20-9 run helped them turn the game around.
Butler scored nine points in a final quarter in which, with his side 96-89 behind, he clashed with Boston’s Grant Williams.
“He hit a big shot and started talking to me. I like that,” Butler said.
“I’m all for that. It makes me key in a lot more. It pushes that will that I have to win a lot more. It makes me smile. It does.
“But it’s just competition. I do respect him, though. He’s a big part of what they try to do. I just don’t know if I’m the best person to talk to.”
Miami forward Caleb Martin added: “We’ll take ‘Mad’ Jimmy any time. I could see it in his eyes that he was ready to go after that.
Butler also registered eight rebounds, six assists and three steals, while Martin scored 25 points.
Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum produced 34 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists but did not score a field goal in the fourth quarter for the second game in a row.
His five final-quarter points came from free throws as Boston were beaten at home for a second time by the Heat.
The next two games of the best-of-seven series will take place in Miami, with game three on Sunday (01:30 BST Monday).
“It’s tough. It’s a challenge. No point in being up here sad, right. They came in and won two games,” Tatum said.
“They played well, you give them credit. But we’re not dead or anything. I still have the utmost confidence, everybody has the utmost confidence.”