Celtics

Jimmy Butler makes postseason history at Celtics' expense in Game 1

Celtics

For much of the first half, Jayson Tatum appeared to be on the verge of a performance for the ages.

Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals would indeed feature an historical performance, but it was a Miami Heat superstar who etched their name in the record books.

Jimmy Butler exploded for 41 points, nine rebounds, five assists, four steals and three blocks in the 118-107 win over the Boston Celtics, became the first player in postseason history to meet all of those benchmarks since steals and blocks were first recorded nearly 50 years ago.

It got better for Butler -- and worse for the Celtics -- in terms of the company he's keeping with his performance:

Amazingly, none of Butler's 41 points came off 3-pointers. The 33-year-old attempted a grand total of two shots from beyond the arc for the game, instead excelling from both the paint and mid-range (12 for 19 on 2-point shots) and the free throw line (17 for 18).

As Eddie House said on Postgame Live on NBC Sports Boston, "the only way to say it is he was a gangster out there today."

Since Butler was involved in an altercation on the sideline with Heat coach Erik Spoelstra in March, Miami is 15-6, the best record in the NBA.

 

"I don't do this to score 40 points, I play the way that I play to win," Butler said following the game. "It just so happened I scored 40, but if I scored 40 and lose, I'm gonna be really ticked off."