Jimmy Butler scored 40 points to lead the Miami Heat to an impressive 115-104 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Butler took things to another level in the second half on Monday night, dropping 27 points on Milwaukee. “Jimmy Buckets” put the team on his back in the final minutes to put the Bucks away.

The Bucks — who entered as a five-point favorite — got off to a sizzling start, with a 40-29 lead through the first quarter. But Butler and the Heat dominated the rest of the way, outscoring Milwaukee 86-64 over the final three quarters.

Milwaukee had the NBA’s best record (56-17) this season, and they have Giannis Antetokounmpo, who’s a lock to win his second straight NBA MVP award. But the Bucks have looked vulnerable in the bubble, and Antetokounmpo is having serious issues at the free-throw line, going just 4-of-12 from the charity stripe on Monday night. The Heat appear to be a very real threat for the Bucks, especially after having a one-game advantage in the best-of-seven series.

Game 2 is scheduled for Wednesday evening (6:30 p.m. ET) in the Orlando bubble.

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at mclapp@thecomeback.com.