Jimmy Butler was magnificent, brilliant, dominant, unstoppable and any other number of adjectives on Sunday as his 40-point triple double led the Miami Heat to a 115-104 win over the Lakers in Game 3 of the NBA Finals, pulling the Heat to within a game at 2-1.
Butler’s historic night saw him shooting 14-of-20 from the field and 12-of-14 from the line to reach 40 points while notching 13 assists and 11 rebounds in just the third 40-point triple-double in Finals history.
The Lakers did little to help their cause on the night as they turned the ball over 10 times in the first quarter and 19 times in total on the evening, an encapsulation of their overall mindset. Anthony Davis found himself in first-quarter foul trouble and he was never able to find a rhythm on either end of the court, managing just 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting with five turnovers.
LeBron James did himself and the Lakers no favors also, turning the ball over eight times. Poor shooting nights from Danny Green and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope offset great performances off the bench from Markieff Morris and Kyle Kuzma, as they each scored 19 points. Ultimately, though, Butler and the Heat had all the answers down the stretch as Miami won each quarter on the night, with their six-point advantage in the fourth their largest.
Anthony Irwin and Jacob Rude touched on each of those topics in the postgame podcast, while discussing why Davis’ performance both likely cost him a chance at Finals MVP.
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