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Miami’s Jimmy Butler passes to a teammate during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Friday against the Milwaukee Bucks in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The Heat took a 3-0 series lead with a 115-100 victory. Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Jimmy Butler sent the ball out to Jae Crowder, then started celebrating before his teammate even took the shot.

He knew what was about to happen.

The Miami Heat did it again, and have the Milwaukee Bucks – the No. 1 overall seed in the NBA playoffs – on the brink of leaving the bubble weeks earlier than they anticipated.

Butler scored 17 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter, and the Heat outscored the Bucks 40-13 in those final 12 minutes – the biggest fourth-quarter margin in NBA playoff history – to top Milwaukee 115-100 and take a 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

“No, I’m not surprised,” Butler said. “I think everybody else in the world might be. But not us here. Not if you wear a Heat jersey, if you’re one of these coaches, if you’re part of this organization, if you’ve been seeing what we’ve been doing all year long, that doesn’t surprise us.”

No team in NBA history has won after trailing 3-0.

“It can be us,” reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo said. “It can definitely be us.”

Bam Adebayo had 20 points and 16 rebounds, and Crowder scored 17 points to help the Heat improve to 7-0 in this postseason.

Brook Lopez scored 22 points for Milwaukee, which got 21 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists from Antetokounmpo, who twisted an ankle in the first quarter and appeared to labor at times.

He said he was fine afterward.

The Bucks’ spirit has to be hurting, however. They led by 14 late in the third and by 12 going into the fourth. Then, disaster: Milwaukee shot 6 for 23 from the field, 0 for 10 from 3-point range and got outscored 17-13 by Butler alone.

“They made every play,” Bucks Coach Mike Budenholzer said. “And we didn’t make enough, obviously.”

The Heat pulled off their biggest fourth-quarter playoff comeback ever. They were down 10 going into the fourth quarter of Game 6 of the 2013 NBA finals against San Antonio, the game in which Ray Allen sent it to overtime with a 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds left on the way to Miami’s most recent title.

Milwaukee led 87-75 going into the final quarter, up 12 with 12 minutes to go in a game that the Bucks knew they almost certainly had to win to keep any realistic hopes of a championship alive.

Miami had other ideas.

Tyler Herro opened the fourth with a 3-pointer, Goran Dragic made another 3 about three minutes later to cut the deficit to four, and the Heat were off and running. Butler scored the next nine Miami points as the Heat went back on top, and he set up Adebayo for a short basket with 4:20 remaining to restore a 100-99 lead.

Butler might have delivered the dagger with a pass; he found Crowder for a left-wing 3-pointer with 2:15 left to put Miami up 107-100.

Butler knew it was good – he was running the other way, his arm in the air, before Crowder’s shot even found the inside of the net.

“It just shows how good of a basketball player Jimmy is,” “It’s not just about his scoring. … He does whatever’s necessary to help your team have a chance to win and that’s on both ends of the court.”

Crowder’s 3 was part of a 17-1 run to end the game.

Milwaukee needed less than five minutes to go on a 21-6 run that put the Bucks up 87-73 late in the third. Lopez and George Hill combined for the first 11 points of that run.

But the fourth was all Miami.

“We’re still here in the bubble,” Hill said. “It’s not the first one to win three games. It’s the first one to win four games. We still have basketball to play.”

ROCKETS 112, LAKERS 97: James Harden scored 36 points and Houston ran away in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.

Russell Westbrook added 24 points, nine rebounds and six assists, and Eric Gordon had 23 points for the Rockets, the No. 4 seed who had just one day of rest after needing seven games to win their first-round series.

They sure didn’t look tired, flying around the court all night to make up for the size disadvantage they face with their small-ball style. They forced 17 turnovers that led to 27 turnovers and played the much bigger Lakers even on the backboards.

The top-seeded Lakers never led after the first quarter, and the Rockets blew it open by starting the fourth with a 16-3 run, turning a six-point advantage into a 101-82 cushion on Harden’s basket with 7:15 to play.

Anthony Davis had 25 points and 14 rebounds for the Lakers. LeBron James had 20 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.

Game 2 is Sunday.

SIXTH MAN AWARD: Montrezl Harrell won the NBA’s Sixth Man Award, keeping the honor for the league’s top reserve with the Los Angeles Clippers for the third straight season.

Harrell ended the two-year run of teammate Lou Williams – who finished third – and gave the Clippers four winners in the last five years. Harrell and Williams helped the Clippers have the league’s highest-scoring bench for the second straight season.

Harrell received 58 first-place votes from a panel of 100 sports writers and broadcasters, earning 397 points. Dennis Schroder of Oklahoma City was second with 35 first-place votes and 328 points, while Williams got the other seven first-place votes and 127 points.

The Clippers averaged 51.5 points from their bench, continuing to get strong play from their second unit. Before Williams’ consecutive awards, Jamal Crawford won the last of his three awards in 2016.

Harrell is a 6-foot-8 force of energy, outworking fellow big men on the boards and outracing them on fast breaks. He averaged a career-best 18.6 points in 63 games, including two starts, through March 11.

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