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NBA Play-offs: Miami Heat beat Boston Celtics 103-84 to reach finals



The Miami Heat halted the Boston Celtics’ remarkable fightback in the Eastern Conference Finals, clinching the deciding match 103-84 to reach the NBA finals.

Jimmy Butler starred, scoring 28 points, seven rebounds and six assists, as the Heat, who led the seven-game series 3-0 before being pegged back to 3-3, reached this year’s showpiece.


The first eighth seeds to reach the finals since the New York Knicks in 1999, the Heat will play the the Denver Nuggets in the best-of-seven finals.

Game one will be played in Denver on Thursday (01:30 BST Friday).

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Derrick White’s dramatic buzzer-beater in game six had tied the series, giving the The Celtics hope of becoming the first side in NBA history to overturn a 3-0 deficit in a play-off final.

But alongside Butler’s efforts, Caleb Martin scored 26 points and Bam Adebayo recorded 12 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists as the Heat silenced a passionate Boston crowd.


Butler, 33, was named MVP of the series after averaging 24.7 points, 7.6 rebounds and 6.1 assists.

“We stayed together as a group,” he said.


“We talked about going to get a tough one on the road and we did just that. [My team-mates] are the reason we’re here. I know how good a team we are and we made it happen.”

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said he never doubted his squad’s resilience.

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“Sometimes you have to suffer for the things you really want,” he said.

“This group has shown fortitude when there are inevitable let-downs and failures, but had that perseverance to pick yourself up, that collective spirit to keep on forging ahead.”


The Heat are seeking a fourth NBA title and first since 2013, while The Nuggets, who beat the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference play-offs, are in search of a maiden championship.


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