With their season on the line, the Miami Heat played an inspired Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals on Friday night.
Needing to win to extend their season, the top-seeded Heat held off a furious rally from the Boston Celtics to pull out the 111-103 victory at TD Garden.
Jimmy Butler played the game of his life, pouring in a playoff-career high 47 points to send the best-of-seven series back to Miami for winner-take-all Game 7.
Coming off a 25-point home loss in Game 5 and heading on the road for Game 6, the Heat were being counted out by just about every NBA analyst and even some players, including Warriors forward Draymond Green.
That was all the fuel the Heat needed.
Moments after the final buzzer sounded in Boston, veteran Heat forward Udonis Haslem walked over to Mike Breen, Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy at the ESPN broadcast table and had something to say.
“He wants a message to be relayed,” Jackson said. “He said, ‘Tell Draymond Green thank you.’ Draymond Green said, ‘We’re going to play the Boston Celtics.’ Udonis Haslem walks over and says, ‘Thank you for the inspiration.’ ”
A few minutes later, P.J. Tucker went on ESPN and said essentially the same thing.
“Hey, tell Draymond I said ‘Appreciate it,’ ” Tucker told ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt on SportsCenter after the game.
Following the Warriors’ win over the Mavericks on Thursday night to…