Celtics vs. Heat takeaways: Jimmy Butler forces Game 7 with 47-point outburst

BOSTON — Celtics fans were hoping to celebrate an Eastern Conference championship Friday night at TD Garden, but the Miami Heat had other plans.

The Heat staved off elimination with a hard-fought 111-103 victory in Game 6, sending the series back to FTX Arena in Miami for a decisive Game 7 on Sunday night.

Jimmy Butler saved the Heat’s season with an amazing 47-point performance. It’s his second 40-point game of the series. Kyle Lowry chipped in 18 points in a bounce-back performance for the veteran point guard.

The winner of Sunday’s Game 7 will play the Golden State Warriors in the 2022 NBA Finals.

Before we look ahead to that must-win matchup, here are three takeaways from Celtics-Heat Game 6.

1) Jimmy Butler gives incredible performance

Butler played poorly over the last three games, scoring just 27 points combined on 25 percent shooting (10-of-40). A knee issue has hampered him in this series, but you never would’ve guessed that by watching him play in Game 6.

The Heat star nearly tallied a triple-double in the first half. He scored 21 points with nine rebounds and six assists. He finished with 47 points (16-of-29 shooting), nine rebounds, eight assists and 4 steals. He played 46 of a possible 48 minutes.

Butler was aggressive driving to the basket, he hit his free throws (11-of-11) and he even sunk several of his 3-point attempts (4-of-8). 

Butler took a lot of criticism from…

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