Butler on fire as Miami Heats, LA Lakers set for decisive fourth game
The Miami Heat took care of business and defeated the LA Lakers 115-104 in Game 3, cutting the Lakers’ Finals lead to 2-1. It was a historic night for the Heat’s Jimmy Butler, who has joined LeBron James and Jerry West and the only players with a 40-point triple-double in NBA Finals history.
Jimmy “Buckets” finished with 40 points, 11 rebounds, and 13 assists in 45 minutes on the floor. Kelly Olynyk and Tyler Herro added 17 points each for Miami, who played without their two starters, Goran Dragić and Bam Adebayo.
The Lakers were led by LeBron James, who finished with 25 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists. With his second assist of the game, James passed John Stockton for second-most playoff assists in NBA history. Kyle Kuzma and Markieff Morris scored 19 points each, with Anthony Davis adding 15 to the scoreboard.
Speaking after the third game, Miami Heat’s Jimmy Butler said, “We won. I could care less about a triple-double. We play this game to win. I’m glad my teammates got a lot of trust and faith in me to go out there and hoop like that, but like I always say, you guarantee me a win, I could care less.”
His teammate, Kelly Olynyk, is also still savouring the victory over one of the favourites for the 2020 title.
“That was unbelievable. His determination and his will to win were out of this world. We basically just gave him the ball and said, “Be great.” And he was. He was making the right decision every single time, attacking the basket and making the right plays. Guys were ready to shoot. Guys made some cuts. That’s what we needed to close out that game.”
Coach Erik Spoelstra puts the Heat’s play so far to the players’ desire for success.
“I think there’s a lot of genuine care and love in this locker room. Guys really want to do this for each other. Our hearts are broken, you know, about Goran and Bam missing these games because there’s a sincere love for them. Jimmy takes that to heart. Guys know that they have to do more until or if those guys come back.”
LA Lakers’ Lebron James thinks Heat’s Butler has been phenomenal in this series, and he knows his team ahs to do better to have the better of today’s game.
“I thought Jimmy was phenomenal. He did everything that they needed him to do tonight 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 4. But I thought he was great.”
“Love it. Love it. One of the best competitors we have in our game. We love that opportunity. For me personally, I don’t know how many more opportunities I’m going to have, so to be able to go against a fierce competitor like that is something I’ll look back on when I’m done playing. I’ll miss those moments.”
Coach Frank Vogel agrees that LA Lakers have to do a better job on Butler, admitting, “What did he have, 40 and 13? Identifying the right situations to help, the right situations not to help. We didn’t do a good job in those situations, but obviously we’ll look at the tape and see ways we can be better.”
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