Jimmy Butler wasn’t going to go down without a fight as he led the Miami Heat to a stunning game three victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
In what was looking set to be a 4-0 whitewash in the NBA Finals, Butler produced an individual game for the ages as the Heat claimed the 115-104 victory.
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Butler stuffed the stat sheet and ended with his first playoff triple-double in his career with 40 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds.
It makes him only the sixth man in NBA Finals history to record a triple-double, joining LeBron James (x2), James Worthy and Jerry West. And also makes him only the third player in NBA Finals history to record a 40-point triple-double, joining James and West.
Making his unstoppable day out even more historic, Butler became the first player to record at least 32 points and 12 assists in an NBA Finals game since Michael Jordan did so way back in 1991.
“What a masterpiece from Jimmy Butler,” Mike Breen said.
“This is one of the greatest displays I’ve seen in the NBA Finals,” Jeff Van Gundy added.
Butler of course didn’t care about the stat sheet after the game, he just wanted to get his team on the board.
“Win. I don’t care about a triple-double, I don’t care about none of that, I really don’t. I want to win, we did that, I’m happy with the outcome,” Butler said after the game.
“I think we realised that we belong. They can be beat as long as we do what we’re supposed to do. Coming into the next game they’re going to be so much better but we’ve got to be able to match that energy.”
Jimmy (40 PTS, 13 AST & 11 REB) records his first career #NBAPlayoffs triple-double as the Heat take Game 3 😤 pic.twitter.com/HxR6GmACwq
The win makes it 2-1 to the Lakers in the series with the Heat set to get big man Bam Adebayo back into the line-up for game four.
LeBron James did all that he could to get the Lakers into the contest and secure the 3-0 series lead as he finished with 25 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists.
Unfortunately James’ superstar running mate Anthony Davis couldn’t continue his recent stellar form as he was well held by the Heat defence.
But the day belonged to Butler who quickly became a trending topic on social media with his offensive onslaught leaving fans, his coach and opponents in awe.
“I thought Jimmy was phenomenal, he did everything they needed for him to do and he came through big time in a big time game. We’ll watch the film and see ways we can be better going into game four, but I thought he was great,” LeBron James said.
“How else do you say it but Jimmy Effin’ Butler,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
“Jimmy Butler just said on ABC that the key to the upset was rebounding. Well, the Lakers only won the boards by six. But the key was Jimmy Buckets, who averaged 20 this season, scoring forty with 13 assists and a triple double. All-time performance,” Fox Sports 1’s Skip Bayless said.
“All-time Finals performance from Jimmy Butler. As good as I’ve ever seen in the championship series. Miami’s post defence was much better tonight. And the NBA, which was facing the likelihood of a dull Lakers sweep, certainly doesn’t mind,” The Athletic’s David Aldridge wrote.
Ok Jimmy 😤
Truly a masterpiece from Jimmy
Game 4 will be played on Wednesday, October 7 at 12pm (AEDT).
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