Jimmy Butler helps Heat to 103-84 Game 7 win over Celtics and spot in NBA Finals

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BOSTON (AP) — Jimmy Butler scored 28 points and Caleb Martin gave Miami 26 points and 10 rebounds in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals to help the Heat beat the Celtics 103-84 and turn back Boston’s attempt at an unprecedented comeback.

The Heat recovered after blowing a 3-0 lead in the series and advanced to the NBA Finals for the second time in four seasons. They will face the Western Conference champion Nuggets. Game 1 is in Denver on Thursday night.

Miami is the first No. 8 seed to play for a championship since the 1999 New York Knicks. Top-seeded Denver has been waiting since sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers on May 22. Game 6 hero Derrick White scored 18 for Boston.

The NBA Finals are set: It’s the Heat and the Nuggets for the Larry O’Brien Trophy

Cancel that flight plan, Denver. Turns out, the NBA Finals are starting in the Mile High City after all. And Jimmy Butler was proven right. Finally, we have a title-series matchup: The Miami Heat, champions of the Eastern Conference even after getting in as only the No. 8 seed, will take on the Western Conference champion Nuggets in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

The series starts in Denver on Thursday night. The Heat got there by winning Game 7 of the East title series in Boston on Monday night. It came one year to the day after the Celtics won a Game 7 on Miami’s floor to win the East title a year ago.

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