Jimmy Butler led his Miami Heat to a first win in the NB Finals series against the LA Lakers, 115-104. The fantastic forward posted a triple-double, covering up all the problems the Heat faced before tonight’s matchup.
Jimmy B dropped 40 buckets, shooting 14-for-20 from the field, and 12-for-14 from the free-throw line, grabbing 11 rebounds and posting 13 assists. On top of that, the Heat leader recorded two steals and two blocks each. He wouldn’t have a single shot for three points during the whole event.
Miami was much better than in previous games, especially in restraining Anthony Davis, who had just 15 points. Spoelstra found a model to neutralize the Lakers’ star, while being efficient on the other side of the court. The Heat were fast in creating a respectable distance in the first period, and with 4:16 until the end of the same, they were up 22-9.
Still, the Lakers responded quickly, making the game interesting and close. The entire second period was going back and forth, but Miami was ahead most of the time.
The Heat came out sharp following the halftime pause, scoring 10 straight and pulling away to 68-54, and they kept some distance until the late third and the early final period. That is when LAL even took a 91-89 advantage.
However, with the assistance of Tyler Herro, Butler brought back Miami on the right track, and they made the series a bit more interesting than many expected.
Herro scored 17 buckets for Miami, with three boards, while Duncan Robinson had 13 with five rebounds. Jae Crowder had 12 and 8 boards. These three guys were 7-for-25 from a distance, which is quite unusual for them.
Kelly Olynyk scored 17 points off the bench with seven boards and two steals, performing excellent once again. In 31 minutes, he made five of his nine field goals, 3-for-5 for three.
Anthony Davis played 33 minutes, was 6-for-9 from the field and had just 15 points and five boards, by far his worst performance in the playoffs. LeBron was on the verge of posting a triple-double, 25 points, 10 boards, and 8 rebounds.
The bench players had a solid impact, Markieff Morris 19 points and six boards, and Kyle Kuzma also 19 points. Rajon Rondo had four points, 8 rebounds and five assists. Even though the Lakers outrebounded the Heat, 50-42, the players from Miami scored more points in the paint 52-34.
Game 4 is scheduled for this Tuesday night 9 pm ETt.