The Miami Heat have done it. In defeating the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday, they have officially become the first play-in team to win a playoff series and the fifth No. 8 seed in NBA history to knock off a No. 1 seed.
The Bucks led Game 4 by 12 points with 6:09 remaining. They lost as Jimmy Butler scored 56 points to give Miami a 3-1 lead on Monday. Milwaukee entered the fourth quarter of Game 5 up by 16. The game went to overtime, where Miami led by seven with 1:43 left on the clock. Milwaukee miraculously managed to cut the deficit to two points and gain possession with roughly nine seconds left. But then ... well ... this happened.
No, your eyes aren't deceiving you. Grayson Allen, seemingly not knowing how much time was left on the clock, failed to get off a shot as time expired. Milwaukee's season ended without even a prayer of redemption. Had the Bucks pushed the game into double overtime, they would have had a tremendous advantage as Bam Adebayo, Kevin Love and Kyle Lowry had all fouled out.
Instead, the Eastern Conference's top seed and the NBA squad with the best regular-season record watched their season end on a whimper. Notably, Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer elected not to call a timeout, which was the same choice that his staff made at the end of regulation, when they could have drawn up a play with less than one second remaining. Now, he will surely regret that choice as the Bucks go home in disbelief.
Allen's gaffe will go down in history alongside J.R. Smith's infamous mistake at the end of Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals. In that game, Smith rebounded a missed free throw by teammate George Hill in the final seconds thinking Cleveland had the lead. He dribbled out the clock not knowing the score was tied and that the Cavaliers needed a shot. This play wasn't quite the same, as Allen surely knew the score. (He still would have taken a shot even if he had believed the game was tied.) Instead, he simply wasn't aware of how much time he had to work with.
So the Heat become the latest member in the fraternity of 8-seeds to wipe a top-seed off the board, joining the 1994 Seattle Supersonics, the 1999 New York Knicks, the 2007 Golden State Warriors and the 2012 Philadelphia 76ers. Milwaukee's loss, considering the collapse that preceded it, might have been the most embarrassing of them all.
Miami will face New York in the second round while Milwaukee ends its season wondering what might have been.