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NBA - US Sports: Defense holds key for Butler

Jimmy Butler says Miami Heat need to regain their defensive focus if they are to reclaim a series lead when they entertain Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday.

(This article was originally published on 10.05.2022) 

The two teams are back in Miami for Game 5 on Tuesday with the series tied at 2-2. The Heat can be backed at 5/8 to win in the Money Line and Philadelphia are 7/5 to open up a series lead for the first time, with all the action on our Sports Live Streaming service.

Playoff comeback

Miami won the first two games of the series at the FTX Arena but the Sixers hit back by winning both of their home games to draw level.

Philly star and MVP frontrunner Joel Embiid missed the first two meetings but returned in Game 3, and the Heat have struggled to cope with the All-Star center.

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Butler stressed he was keen to test himself against Embiid prior to his return. The Heat talisman did manage to impress in Game 4 with a game-high 40 points and six assists, despite being guarded by the Cameroonian for large periods, but it wasn't enough as the Sixers claimed a 116-108 win.

Defense vital for Butler

Miami claimed the top seed in the Eastern Conference and much of their success was due to their strong defensive performances, and Butler says they need to regain that composure and put more effort into their defense if they are to win Game 5.

"A lot of it comes to us making shots," said Butler, as reported by The Kansas City Star. "When we make shots, we tend to play defense. When we don't, we don't.

"We've got to get back to being a defensive-minded team and then our offense comes to us second."

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