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Playoff action, the Miami Grand Prix, star sightings and more from South Beach’s week in sports

When you think of Miami, sunny beaches, neon lights and thrilling nightlife experiences may come to mind, and rightfully so. This past week, however, South Beach was the epicenter of action-packed sporting events.

The Miami Heat’s journey toward a Larry O’Brien trophy continued in the Easten Conference semifinals against the Philadelphia 76ers. Philly defeated the Atlanta Hawks in the first round 4-1. Another squad from the Sunshine State, the Florida Panthers began their own quest for championship hardware, the Stanley Cup, against the Washington Capitals.

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Formula One racing also came to Miami with the city hosting its first league event on Sunday. The Crypto.com Grand Prix at the new Miami International Dome drew a star-studded crowd as many sports figures mingled with each other before, during and after the race.

Read more: Everything to know about the Miami Grand Prix

Here’s a look at some of the best highlights from an eventful week of sports and athlete sightings in Miami:

Formula 1

The Crypto.com Grand Prix attracted a number of celebrities to Miami before the race even started. Seven-time Super Bowl champion and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady enjoyed some golf with F1 driver Lewis Hamilton. The seven-time Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile champion finished sixth in this weekend’s event.

Some guy with 7 world titles, and Tom Brady @LewisHamilton pic.twitter.com/T90mDEQ4sQ

— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) May 4, 2022

Hamilton wasn’t the only one socializing with sports greats. Pierre Gasly had dinner with Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan ahead of the Miami Grand Prix. Jordan has some racing experience, co-owning a NASCAR team with Denny Hamlin.

F1 racer Lando Norris also got in the hoops spirit leading up to the race. He unveiled a hardwood-themed helmet, featuring his logo and signature.

Baller alert! ⚠️🏀 @LandoNorris #MiamiGP pic.twitter.com/ylAnamLSBg

— McLaren (@McLarenF1) May 5, 2022

Slam dunk 🏀 pic.twitter.com/Apg2rnL4pU

— Lando Norris (@LandoNorris) May 5, 2022

Other sports celebrities flocked to Miami for the weekend race. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes posted a picture with tennis superstar Serena Williams and former Los Angeles Galaxy player David Beckham.

Miami 🏎 pic.twitter.com/Q1Icuh2NNC

— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) May 6, 2022

Love was also in the air in South Beach. At the Miami Grand Prix qualifiers Saturday, a spectating fan popped the question to their partner. The moment is great, but the fan’s support in the background is even better.

We are all the lady in the back right now. 🥳

Congratulations to you both! 💍 pic.twitter.com/aF1RgiNqNT

— F1 Miami Grand Prix (@f1miami) May 7, 2022

On Sunday, Hamilton, Jordan, Beckham and Brady posed for a picture. TB12 went with “LFG” but “greatness” would have also sufficed for a caption.

#LFG @LewisHamilton @Jumpman23 #DB pic.twitter.com/BcLHYNviSI

— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) May 8, 2022

NHL – Florida Panthers

The Panthers started their quest for a Stanley Cup Tuesday, facing the Washington Capitals in their first-round matchup. The Panthers finished the regular season first in the Eastern Conference and had the second-highest odds to win the championship on May 2 per Ceasars NJ (+500). The squad received good-luck wishes from the Heat ahead of their first playoff game.

Brought the Presidents’ Trophy home, now it’s time to chase another. Let’s get it started it right tonight @FlaPanthers 🐀🐀🐀🐀🐀🐀🐀🐀🐀 pic.twitter.com/uLh7hKTWt7

— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) May 3, 2022

On top of the social-media support, Heat veteran Udonis Haslem showed up to Game 1 to cheer on the Panthers.

The legend @ThisIsUD in the house tonight 🙌@miamiheat | #TimeToHunt pic.twitter.com/V2nCVAhujR

— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) May 4, 2022

FLA Live Arena, the team’s home stadium, added some new cuisine options in honor of the postseason.

All NEW playoff food items available at select locations! 🤤 pic.twitter.com/DDO3J9wrHx

— FLA Live Arena (@FLALiveArena) May 3, 2022

The Panthers lost in Game 1, 4-2 Tuesday but rebounded on Thursday with a 5-1 victory. Game 3 didn’t bring the same success, as the Washington trounced Florida, 6-1.

NBA – Miami Heat

The Heat had a pretty successful week, starting with guard Tyler Herro. On Tuesday, the 22-year-old was named the NBA’s sixth man of the year, receiving 96 first-place votes. Herro’s 20.7 points per game off the bench were the most since Lou Williams’ 22.6 PPG when he won the hardware during the 2017-18 season per ESPN Stats and Information.

6ix man pic.twitter.com/3k55gXMkpC

— Tyler Herro (@raf_tyler) May 3, 2022

Miami led the series 2-0 heading into the weekend, thanks to impactful performances from Herro, Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Victor Oladipo. It was Oladipo’s 30th birthday on May 4 and he had quite the performance that night. He dropped 19 points, 10 of those coming in the fourth quarter. Forward P.J. Tucker had a birthday on Thursday, and what better way to celebrate that than with a win.

Fresh off the Met Gala carpet and back in Wade County 🏠 @DwyaneWade @itsgabrielleu pic.twitter.com/Wl4kD7p5fH

— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) May 5, 2022

🔊 Homecourt protected with the Wades in the building pic.twitter.com/5zu1Z1vxeB

— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) May 5, 2022

Colombian soccer star James Rodriguez stopped by courtside to watch Miami play Wednesday. Former Heat guard Dwyane Wade was also in attendance for Game 2, fresh off his appearance at the Met Gala. Current Miami player Jimmy Butler shouted out Wade and his family after the win.

What a way to celebrate your 30th birthday 🥳

Vic helped us seal the win with 10 points in the 4th, 19 overall pic.twitter.com/4o0lKeBSDZ

— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) May 5, 2022

The Heat fell to the Sixers 99-79 on Friday, but they still have the 2-1 series advantage heading into Game 4 on Sunday.

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