The Miami Heat got the dubious recognition on Friday of being only the third team in league history to have earned the eighth seed in the playoffs only one season after being the No. 1 seed. They live to fight another day though after their play-in win against the Chicago Bulls. Heat star Jimmy Butler was his usual playoff self just a few hours after being named a finalist for the NBA’s new Clutch Player of the Year Award. He had some major help though in dispatching the Bulls in the form of Max Strus. The duo combined for 62 points and became only the third Heat duo to score at least 30 points each in a playoff or play-in game as per ESPN’s Stats&Info Twitter page. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade managed that feat three times.
Jimmy Butler and Max Strus are the 3rd Heat duo with 30 points apiece in a playoff or play-in game:
– LeBron James and Dwyane Wade (3 times)
– Dwyane Wade and Damon Jones (2005 vs Nets) pic.twitter.com/8XCD4BqoNd
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 15, 2023
The only other instance where a Heat duo both dropped 30 points in a playoff game aside from Jimmy Butler and Max Strus and LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, was in 2005 at it was Wade and Damon Jones against the then New Jersey Nets. On Friday against the Bulls, Butler and Strus each finished with 31 points including clutch buckets down the stretch.
Butler was averaging 22.9 points per game this season along with 5.9 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.8 steals. He was shooting a career-high 53.9 percent from the field, 35 percent from the three-point line and 85 percent from the free-throw line. Strus is one of the Heat’s undrafted success stories. He had a career-year to the tune of 11.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.1 assists with shooting splits of 41 percent from the field, 35 percent from the three-point line and 87.6 percent from the free-throw line.
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