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NBA - US Sports: Butler stars as Heat force decider

An inspired performance from Jimmy Butler saw Miami Heat force a deciding seventh game in the Eastern Conference Finals as they claimed a 111-103 win in Boston on Friday.

Miami are 6/5 to win Sunday's Game 7 in the Money Line and Butler is 13/10 to be named the Eastern Conference Finals MVP. You can follow the action via our Sports Live Streaming platform.

Heat take it to decisive showdown

The Heat trailed the series 3-2 going into Friday's clash with the Celtics after back-to-back defeats. Miami had a number of injury issues to contend with as Tyler Herro missed a third straight game with a groin issue, while Kyle Lowry, P.J. Tucker and Max Strus were also managing various problems.

Butler has been playing through the pain of right knee soreness throughout the postseason and had managed just 27 points in total over the course of the last three games, but he produced arguably his best performance of the season to date as Miami kept their championship hopes alive on Friday.

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Spoelstra hails Butler show

The six-time All-Star scored a playoff career-high 47 points, with nine rebounds, eight assists, four steals and one block in 46 minutes to guide the Heat to victory and force a series decider.

"Jimmy just brought his competitive will tonight," said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra postgame, via ESPN. "It was a will that would not let us lose."

The series will be decided on Sunday night and top seeds Miami have home court advantage for Game 7. 

The Heat will still have injury issues to deal with, but Spoelstra is relishing the chance to secure a place in the NBA Finals and he is expecting another huge performance from his star man.

"I want our guys just to embrace this moment," he added. "Jimmy Butler is a great competitor; he really is. You can mis-define him in a lot of different ways, but his competitive will, is as high as anybody that has played this game. He put his fingerprints on this game."

The winner of Sunday's clash will go on to face Golden State Warriors in the Finals series. The winner from the East will have home court advantage in that series and the first game will take place in either Miami or Boston on Thursday.

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