Butler: ‘I just don’t know if I’m the best person to talk to’

Jimmy Butler has done it again. Butler, who had 35 points in Game 1, scored nine of his 27 points in the fourth quarter, including two big shots down the stretch that gave Miami the lead for good as the Heat defeated the Celtics 111-105 on Friday night in Boston to take a 2-0 series lead.

Games 3 and 4 are in Miami, with Game 3 being on Sunday; Miami can close out this series at home.  

Butler, who brought the Heat back from a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit in Game 2, was motivated by the trash-talking with Boston’s Grant Williams, and the two players went back and forth down the stretch.

“Yes, it did,” Bulter said about the trash talk motivating him. “But that’s just competition at its finest. He hit a big shot. Started talking to me; I like that. 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. When people talk to me, I’m like, okay, I know I’m a decent player if you want to talk to me out of everybody that you can talk to. But it’s just competition. I do respect him, though. He’s a big part of what they try to do. He switches. He can shoot the ball. I just don’t know if I’m the best person to talk to (laughter).”

Bam Adebayo, who added 22 points, 17 rebounds, and nine assists, added on Butler: “I feel like things like that always fuel Jimmy. I feel like he starts it so it can get him more in the competition. You see down the stretch what he was doing.”

Butler’s head coach Erik Spoelstra likes his competitive fire.

“Look, I love that gnarly version of Jimmy, but you get that regardless,” Spoelstra said. “I just think people now are paying a lot more attention to him now that we’ve won some games in the postseason the last few years. Jimmy is just a real competitor.”

The Heat have the advantage at this point, but they may have to be even better in Games 3 and 4 to beat the Celtics. Game 3 is going to be huge. History says if Miami wins Game 3, they win the series because no team has come back from a 3-0 deficit, so expect Boston to have a great effort on Sunday night.

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