LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Jimmy Butler sent the ball out to Jae Crowder, then started celebrating before his teammate even took the shot.
He knew what was about to happen.
The Miami Heat did it again — and have the Milwaukee Bucks, the No. 1 overall seed in the NBA playoffs, on the brink of leaving the bubble weeks earlier than they anticipated.
Butler scored 17 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter, the Heat outscored the Bucks 40-13 in those final 12 minutes — the biggest fourth-quarter margin in NBA playoff history — and topped Milwaukee 115-100 to take a 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.
“No, I'm not surprised," Butler said. “I think everybody else in the world might be. But not us here. Not if you wear a Heat jersey, if you're one of these coaches, if you're part of this organization, if you've been seeing what we've been doing all year long, that doesn't surprise us."
No team in NBA history has ever won after trailing 3-0.
“It can be us," reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo said. “It can definitely be us."
Bam Adebayo had 20 points and 16 rebounds, and Crowder had 17 points to help the Heat improve to 7-0 in this postseason. Brook Lopez scored 22 points for Milwaukee, which got 21 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists from Antetokounmpo — who twisted an ankle in the first quarter and appeared to labor at times.