Jimmy Butler went off for 45 points in a crucial game 2 win over the Atlanta Hawks. Butler’s 45 points, a playoff-high for him, ensured a commanding 2-0 lead in the series. The Heat defeated the Hawks 115-105 on Tuesday night. 

“It really wasn’t taking over,” Butler said, of his closing stretch.

“It was playing the right way, and I just happened to be on the receiving end of getting the bucket.”

Jimmy Butler

Butler was unstoppable last night. His mid-range shooting and ability to get to the basket made him a constant threat. The Hawks were a much tougher team than the one that was blown out in Miami on Sunday. Butler was 15-of-25 from the field with four 3s, and 11-of-12 at the foul line. He contributed five rebounds and five assists.

“Where do I start,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said when asked about Butler’s performance. “That’s just elite two-way basketball he exhibited tonight. He just has a knack for making whatever play is needed for your team at any moment.”

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Trae Young played much better in Game 2, improving on his season-low 8 points from game 1. He did have a bit of a mixed performance, committing a career-worst 10 turnovers. Bogdan Bogdanovic led the Hawks in scoring with 29 points, including 19 in the fourth quarter. Atlanta got close enough in the final quarter, trailing by just three but Butler responded to extend the lead.

Tyler Herro pitched in with 15 points off Miami’s bench, and Max Strus added 14 points. The Hawks have to somehow find a way to win game 3 to give themselves any real chance. There was some optimism thanks to Trae Young making shots again. He has to score more consistently to give his team a chance of advancing. 

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