NBA playoffs

Last-gasp Middleton jumper saves Bucks over Heat in OT

Last-gasp Middleton jumper saves Bucks over Heat in OT

GAME HERO. Bucks veteran Khris Middleton knocks in the game-winning basket over Heat forward Duncan Robinson with just a fraction of a second left.

Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Bucks, who are seeking payback against the Heat for last year's playoff upset, kick off their bid in dramatic fashion

Khris Middleton’s pull-up jumper with 0.5 seconds left in overtime lifted the host Milwaukee Bucks to a 109-107 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference first-round series on Saturday afternoon, May 22 (Sunday, May 23, Manila time).

Middleton led the Bucks with 27 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists while Giannis Antetokounmpo had 26 points, 18 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals.

The Heat had one final chance after Jimmy Butler took the inbound pass from Goran Dragic, but could not get his shot off thanks to tight defense from Jrue Holiday as time expired.

Holiday was one of the key acquisitions this offseason for the Bucks, who are seeking payback against Miami for last year’s second-round playoff defeat in five games. He finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 steals.

Dragic, who led the Heat with 25 points on 10-for-17 shooting, tied the game with a three-pointer with 20.6 seconds left in the extra period.

Butler struggled mightily from the field, shooting 4-for-22, but sent the game to overtime tied at 99 when he drove past Antetokounmpo and made a layup as time expired.

Butler finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists.

Brook Lopez finished with 18 points and 8 rebounds and made one of two free throws to break a 104-104 tie with 1:04 left in the extra period. Holiday’s ensuing fast break layup off a Duncan Robinson missed three-pointer gave the Bucks a three-point lead with 39.3 seconds left in overtime.

Robinson’s 24 points on 7-of-13 shooting from three-point range helped the Heat keep pace despite some early shooting struggles in a game which had 17 lead changes. Neither side led by more than 8 points.

The Heat shot 36.4% from the field, and took 50 three-point attempts, making 20 to set a postseason franchise record. The Bucks shot 43.8% and outscored Miami 56-24 in the paint, but shot a poor 5-for-31 from three-point range (16.1%).

Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro each had 10 points for the Heat while Trevor Ariza finished with 12 rebounds and 8 points. Bam Adebayo also had 12 rebounds, but was held to nine points on 4-of-15 shooting. –