'It was the right look' - Spoelstra backs Butler shot selection as Heat lose Game 7

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Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra holds nothing against Jimmy Butler's shot selection and praised the Boston Celtics, after they defeated his side 100-96 in Game 7 to progress to the NBA Finals.

Butler, who willed the Heat and the series back to Miami after 47 points in their Game 6 win, played all 48 minutes and their chance to win or tie the game with 17.1 seconds remaining.

Despite Al Horford's close-out, Butler had a clean look but his three-point attempt to make it 99-98 was short, handing the Celtics the game and the series.

Spoelstra would not have his perspective altered by the outcome, however, saying it was the right shot for the six-time All-Star to take with Miami's season on the line.

"It was fitting that it would come down to the last possession," Spoelstra said post-game. "I felt it had been an incredible storyline, for Jimmy to pull up and hit that three and I love that about Jimmy, it was the right look. I thought, as it was leaving his hands, for sure that was going in.

"You can't prepare for it. It's one of the worst feelings in the world to address a locker room after a game like this. When it ends, it ends in a thud.

"I just have so much incredible respect and love for everybody in that locker room and for what everybody gave to this team. When it's such a memorable season and post-season, it felt like five seasons in one."

Miami's loss on Sunday makes for the sixth consecutive season where the Eastern Conference's first seed does not advance to the finals.

Sunday's Game 7 played out in almost typical fashion, both for a Game 7 and between these two intense teams, with constant momentum swings and scoring runs.

Spoelstra was full of praise for the Celtics and counterpart Ime Udoka, as well as his own team, after what was a highly competitive and ultimately even series.

"It was a really fun group to be around, a really hard-edged group with all the qualities that we love, the good, the bad and everything in between. It's heartbreaking when it ends like this," he said post-game.

"You certainly have to credit the Boston Celtics and their team and coaching staff. Ime [Udoka] did such a tremendous job, building on what they've done the last six, seven years.

"They've probably done it they way that it's supposed to happen in this league. We tip our hats off to them. They are a heck of a basketball team, they can really defend at a high level, they're competitive. This was all about competition, and we faced a team that kind of matches the best qualities of what we do."

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