‘How else do you say it other than Jimmy F’ing Butler?’ 40 points, 11 rebounds, 13 assists, two blocks, and two steals to lead the Heat to a 115-104 victory.
We won. I could care less about a triple-double. I hope the next game I score zero, and y’all talk like y’all wanna talk, and we win, so I can come up here and say the same thing.Jimmy Butler, ESPN
This goes along with everything 30-year-old star embodies. Only looking at the box score doesn’t work with Jimmy. He isn’t your typical NBA stat chaser, nor is that the criterion you judge his performances on. It’s usually the intangibles Butler brings to the floor that define his impact on the game.
However, coming into Game 3, Butler had a different approach, and it was due to necessity. With Goran Dragić and Bam Adebayo once again ruled out due to injuries, Jimmy upped the ante, leading Miami to a victory in what could’ve been a series decisive 48 minutes.
Butler became the first player to outscore, out-rebound, and out-assist LeBron in a Finals game — while also guarding James. He also became the third player in NBA Finals history to record a 40-point triple-double, joining The King and Jerry West. Jimmy did it without attempting a single three-pointer – becoming the first guy to do so since Shaq in ’02.
So the way he did it was almost unprecedented for today’s NBA. However, perhaps the most impressive thing about Butler’s legendary performance is how efficient he was. Jimmy shot 14-for-20 from the floor while going 12-for-14 from the charity stripe. He scored off the bounce, with his back to the basket, orchestrating the pick and roll – he did it any way possible, except the obvious one – hoisting long-range shots.
We know how Jimmy is in these moments. He did everything obviously, made play after play, bucket after bucket, defensively guarding LeBron, just being a leader out there, and we’re all following him. He just wants to win. He knows what it takes to win.Tyler Herro, NBA
Tyler Herro and Kelly Olynyk both had 17 for the Heat, as Duncan Robinson added 13, providing a good-enough support for Jimmy G. Buckets. LeBron James led the Lakers with 25 points, while Kyle Kuzma and Markieff Morris both added 19 off the bench. The one whose impact was nearly non existent was Anthony Davis, as he only had 15 on 6-for-9 shooting from the floor.
AD’s redemption game is scheduled for Tuesday, as the Lakers will look to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. But it won’t be easy; not by a long shot. They’ll first have to go through Jimmy Butler, who, following his epic Game 3 performance, has no doubt in his mind – the series will be back to square one after Tuesday’s Game 4.
We’re going to win. We’re going to compete. We’re not gonna lay down; we’re gonna fight back in this thing and even it up 2-2.Jimmy Butler, ESPN
We are one Miami win away from an epic Finals series. Tomorrow is their chance, and it’s a must-win for the Heat.