The Miami Heat knew that Game 3 of their NBA Finals series with the Los Angeles Lakers was a must-have on Sunday night. A loss would mean they would fall 3-0 behind, and that’s a place no team has ever managed to crawl back from in the NBA Playoffs, let alone the Finals. With Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic again missing, it was time for Jimmy Butler to step up and lead the way.
He did not disappoint, putting up a massive triple-double in leading them to a 115-104 win that gives them a chance to even up the series in Game 4. Jimmy ‘Buckets’ scored 40 points here to go along with 11 rebounds and 13 assists, outdueling LeBron James along the way. James nearly had a triple-double of his own with 25 points, ten rebounds, and eight assists, but it was not nearly enough on this night to hold back his former team. It’s obvious that Butler and co. were simply not ready to go home just yet, and with that victory they are guaranteed to make it to at least Game 5. How much further might just depend on how well Butler plays going forward.