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Butler shines with 47 points; Heat revives against Celtics

BOSTON (AP) — Courteous, Kyle Lowry listened as Jimmy Butler refused to take full credit for Miami’s victory.

Suddenly, Butler went over modest, calling his 47-point performance in avoiding elimination “decent.” Lowry couldn’t take it anymore and intervened.

“It was something… incredible,” Lowry corrected, inserting a profanity word into his sentence in front of the TV cameras.

Then, he hoped that he would not be fined for the expression, but insisted on giving a more real dimension to what Butler had done.

“It’s incredible to have a player like the one next to me,” he stressed. “I’ve played with some great players, but he is one of the best.”

Butler had 47 points, nine rebounds and eight assists as the Miami Heat revived in the Eastern Conference finals, beating the Boston Celtics 111-103 on Friday to force a Game 7.

Butler’s number of points was the highest he has scored in his playoff career. And his performance is one of the best by a player who has ever been at risk of elimination.

Ten years ago, LeBron James impressed with 45 points in Boston as the Heat avoided elimination in Game 6 of the conference finals before stringing together NBA titles.

Now, Butler had 17 points in the fourth quarter to beat James’s contribution by one point and send the series back to Miami.

If the Heat win Sunday at home, they will advance to the NBA Finals for the second time in three years.

“This is how a series between these two teams had to be. It was logical that we would need seven games,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I’m really excited that our group has the opportunity to compete in a seventh game in front of our home crowd.”

The winner will dispute the title with the Golden State Warriors, who eliminated the Dallas Mavericks in five games.

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