Miami Heat Eliminate Milwaukee Bucks With Historic Comeback

The Milwaukee Bucks, the Eastern Conference's top-seed and the team with the best record in the NBA this season, have been eliminated from the playoffs. The Miami Heat closed out their first-round series 4-1 with a 128-126 overtime win over the Bucks on Wednesday night, clawing their way back from a 16-point fourth-quarter deficit. It was the largest comeback in a series-clinching win in NBA playoff history. The hero of the night was Jimmy Butler.  After a Heat postseason record 56 points in Monday's 119-114 win, the six-time All-Star was sensational yet again last night, piling up 42 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and two steals. For the series, Butler compiled 37.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. It was arguably the greatest series of his storied career, which includes a Finals appearance following the 2019-20 season.

As for the Bucks, they head into the offseason following one of the most disappointing playoff performances in NBA history. Prior to Wednesday night, an 8-seed had upset a 1-seed only five times in NBA playoff history. The Philadelphia 76ers were the last team to achieve the feat; in 2011, they slayed the Chicago Bulls in six when 2010-11 MVP Derrick Rose tore his ACL in Game 1. The Bucks are the first top seed to exit the playoffs with only a single win.

The Bucks can console themselves with the fact that their transcendent superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo was not at his best for the majority of the series. The two-time MVP exited Game 1 after less than 11 minutes and missed the next two games. Still, Antetokounmpo was on the court for the last two Bucks losses and even played well, averaging 32.0 points, 15.0 rebounds, and 8.0 assists per game. Antetokounmpo's absence alone does not explain this staggering upset; the Bucks have serious soul-searching to do.

The Heat will enjoy a brief break before visiting the New York Knicks for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals on Sunday, April 30th at 1:00 PM ET.

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