By Satuk Bugra Kutlugun
ANKARA (AA) – The Miami Heat beat the Bucks 115-100 Friday night and took a commanding 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals of the NBA playoffs.
The 5th-seeded Heat used a 40-13 scoring boost in the fourth quarter, led by their star player Jimmy Butler, who finished with 30 points.
All-Star center Bam Adebayo scored 20 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, with Jae Crowder, Goran Dragic, and Tyler Herro all scoring in the double digits.
The Bucks were leading the match 91-81 with 9:40 remaining before the big surge started. In the fourth quarter Butler outscored the entire Bucks team single-handedly (17-13).
For the Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 21 points, 16 rebounds, and 9 assists. Brook Lopez scored 22 points.
The Bucks, who had the league's best record before going into the playoffs, are now facing an early exit. No team in NBA history has come back from a 0-3 deficit in a playoff series.
– Rockets beat Lakers in West semis to take 1-0 lead
In the Western Conference, the 4th-seeded Houston Rockets defeated the 1st-seeded LA Lakers 112-97 to lead the semifinal series 1-0.
James Harden scored 36 points, Eric Gordon scored 23 points, and Russell Westbrook added 24 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists in the win.
The Lakers, who struggled with simple defensive mistakes all game long, now trail 0-1 in the series, despite LeBron James's 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists.
Anthony Davis scored 25 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in the losing effort.
– Montrezl Harrell wins Sixth Man of the Year award
The NBA announced late Friday that Los Angeles Clippers player Montrezl Harrell was awarded the Sixth Man of the Year for the 2019-2020 regular season.
Harrell scored a career-high 18.6 points and 7.1 rebounds for the Clippers, coming off the bench. His teammate Lou Williams scored 18.2 points per game this season. They are the first teammates coming off the bench to average 18+ points in a season.