Miami Heat become sixth 8-seed to defeat 1-seed in seven-game series
On Wednesday night, the Miami Heat won 128-126 in overtime of Game 5 against the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs, becoming the first 8-seed to upset the 1-seed in the first round since the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Chicago Bulls (4-2) in 2012.
Miami is the sixth 8-seed to defeat a 1-seed in a seven-game series in NBA playoffs history, also joining the Memphis Grizzlies over the San Antonio Spurs (4-2) in 2011, Golden State Warriors over Dallas Mavericks (4-2) in 2007, New York Knicks against Heat (3-2) in 1999, and Denver Nuggets versus Seattle SuperSonics (3-2) in 1994.
Per a few NBA betting sites, the Miami Heat have eighth-shortest odds to win the championship. Check out which sportsbooks are showing greater odds for the Boston Celtics, 76ers, and Knicks.
Every 8-seed to beat a 1-seed in the first round:
1994: Nuggets over Seattle (3-2)
1999: Knicks over Miami (3-2)
2007: Warriors over Dallas (4-2)
2011: Grizzlies over San Antonio (4-2)
2012: 76ers over Chicago (4-2)
2023: Heat over Milwaukee (4-1)#NBA | #HeatCulture
— Basketball Reference (@bball_ref) April 27, 2023
Bucks guard Jrue Holiday was part of both upsets in 2012 and on Wednesday night. While with the Sixers, Holiday capitalized on playing a top-seeded Bulls team without Derrick Rose, who was out due to a knee injury. However, the two-time All-Star was on the wrong end this time around against the Miami Heat.
In Game 5, the 14-year veteran recorded 16 points, nine rebounds, six assists, and one steal in 47 minutes of action with Milwaukee. Jimmy Butler led Miami in scoring with 42 points. It was Butler’s eighth 40-point postseason game with the Heat, which passes Dwayne Wade for the most in franchise history.
Miami Heat become the sixth No. 8 seed to upset a No. 1 seed in a seven-game playoff series in NBA history, first team since 76ers over Bulls in 2012
Milwaukee led 102-86 after three quarters and outscored the Heat 33-23 to start the second half. Down by 16 points, this comeback marked the biggest deficit a winning team ever had faced to start the fourth quarter of a series-clinching victory.
Furthermore, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra picked up his 100th career playoff coaching victory, tying Larry Brown for fifth place on the all-time list. Spoelstra broke the tie for seventh with Red Auerbach.
FINAL PLAY OF THE HEAT-BUCKS GAME 😳 pic.twitter.com/uFmDZy9wPr
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 27, 2023
Additionally, the Heat improved to 3-1 in postseason series against the Bucks. The Heat won first-round series in 2013 and 2020 and lost a first-round series in 2021.
The Miami Heat now advance to the second round to face the fifth-seeded New York Knicks, who completed their 4-1 series win over the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier Wednesday. Game 1 is Sunday in New York.
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