I mean, Y-I-K-E-S, if you’re a Milwaukee Bucks fan.
Going down 3-0 in this Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Miami Heat is bad enough. Blowing a 14 point lead with 13 minutes to go? Bad. Blowing a 12 point lead when the fourth quarter started? Bad. Blowing the game after leading 99-98 with 4:41 to go? By itself, that’s just something that happens, but when it means that you needed a Giannis Antetokounmpo dunk to retake the lead after leading by 14 eight minutes earlier? Bad.
Not scoring at all in the final 2:30 and thus letting a four point margin turn into a 15 point loss? Awful. Getting beat 40-13 in the final 12 minutes of the game? Awful. No one on the Bucks roster playing more than the 38 minutes logged by Brook Lopez in a 48 minute game where Milwaukee was trying to avoid a 3-0 hole, a deficit that no NBA playoff team has ever recovered from in league history? Awful.
On the flipside, since we as Marquette fans care about both sides of this game, this was a fantastic game, or at least a fantastic result, for the Miami Heat. Before the fourth quarter started, Miami had taken the lead in this game four times. Once was the first lead of the game, 3-0 on a Goran Dragic triple on their first possession. The second was later in the first, with Andre Iguodala hitting a three to make it 24-22 with 3:02 left. Another three from Dragic with nine seconds left in the first made it 29-28 Heat before George Hill gave Milwaukee the lead at the quarter break. That was three of Miami’s four leads in the game. The fourth didn’t come until the third quarter, as a pair of Jimmy Butler free throws tied the game at 66 and then pushed it to 67-66 favoring the Heat. Miami then gave up a 21-6 run to fall behind by 14, and things did not look good!
But Miami has Jimmy Butler, and Jimmy Butler is a killer who believes in his teammates.
“I told you. We got some motherf——— that can ball on this team. Say I’m f ——— right. Say I’m f—— right. I told you.” pic.twitter.com/Lshinc3V6S— Playoff Parakeet A. Cortes (@Ryan_Cortes) September 5, 2020
Jimmy Butler scored 17 points in the fourth quarter. Milwaukee, as a team, scored 13. He also had this fourth quarter assist, and I’m still not sure how he 1) saw Jae Crowder cutting to the spot or 2) got the angle to throw it or 3) managed to get the velocity to get it there.
As you can see from the scorebug in the corner, that turned the game from a four point game with 2:20 to go to a seven point game with 2:15 to go, and considering that meant Miami had a 19 point advantage already in the quarter, that was pretty much your dagger right there.
Butler was, obviously, great, getting 30 points on 7-for-13 shooting, including 2-for-5 from downtown and 14-for-19 from the free throw line. He also added seven points and six assists plus a steal, too. Jae Crowder was super-Crowdery in this one, getting 17 points on 5-for-11 shooting with every attempt coming from behind the arc. He also had four rebounds and five assists, too.
Over on the Milwaukee wreckage, uh, I’m sorry, sideline, Wesley Matthews was in the Bucks’ starting lineup, but played just 21 minutes as Jimmy Butler was tearing a new hole in Milwaukee’s reality. Matthews did hit two of his three long range attempts for six points, and added two rebounds.
Up Next: As mentioned earlier, there have been 139 seven game NBA playoff series that have gone to 3-0 margins. The team with the zero at that point has never won the series. To that end, Game 4 in this series is scheduled for ...... oh no. It’s a 2:30pm Central time start on Sunday afternoon, and because it’s Sunday afternoon, that means the game is the front end of an ABC doubleheader. That’s what Milwaukee definitely needs, a bigger television audience.