Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat are headed to the Eastern Conference finals.
Giannis Antetokounmpo could only watch.
The fifth-seeded Heat finished off an upset of the NBA’s best regular-season team Tuesday, topping the Milwaukee Bucks 103-94 in Game 5 of their East semifinal series — while Antetokounmpo, the league’s reigning MVP, couldn’t play because of a sprained right ankle.
Jae Crowder scored 16, Tyler Herro scored 14, Bam Adebayo had 13 and Kelly Olynyk had 12 apiece for the Heat.
Khris Middleton had 23 points for Milwaukee, which got 15 points and 14 rebounds from Brook Lopez. Donte DiVincenzo scored 17, Wesley Matthews and Marvin Williams each had 11 and Eric Bledsoe had nine assists for the Bucks.
Antetokounmpo did what he could — cheering from the bench throughout, rebounding for teammates during pregame warmups and again at halftime, offering words during time-outs.
And the Bucks were inspired from the jump.
Milwaukee opened the game on a 28-15 run, putting Miami on its heels from the opening minutes. DiVincenzo got the call to start for Antetokounmpo and scored eight of Milwaukee’s first 16 points, Matthews had nine by the end of the quarter and the Bucks were off to a promising start.
Miami answered that start with a 30-9 run of its own, capped by three free throws from Olynyk with 4:36 left in the half for a 45-37 Heat lead.
Milwaukee wouldn’t let the Heat get away, though — not then, and not in the third when Miami pushed the lead out to 12 after a 3-pointer by Crowder with 3:07 left. The Bucks needed just 50 seconds to rip off seven straight points, and it stayed close from there.
Donovan out as Thunder head coach
Billy Donovan won’t return as coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder after five seasons, the team announced Tuesday night.
Donovan, who was at the end of his contract, took the Thunder to the playoffs every year and was a finalist for Coach of the Year this season after his squad outperformed expectations and pushed the Houston Rockets to seven games in the first round of the playoffs.
Donovan went 243-157 with Oklahoma City. Before that, he led the University of Florida to two national championships and four Final Four appearances in 19 seasons.
The team and Donovan described his departure as a mutual decision. Thunder general manager Sam Presti said he couldn’t give Donovan the assurances he wanted about the future.
“It became apparent that we couldn’t provide him the information on the future direction of the team over the next several seasons to give him the level of clarity that he understandably desires at this stage of his career,” Presti said.