With a dominant performance by Butler, talks of a Lakers sweep have ceased. Butler recorded a triple-double in Game 3 with 40 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists
Jimmy Butler is the 3rd player in NBA History to record a 40+ point triple-double in the NBA Finals, joining LeBron James in 2015 and Jerry West in 1969. pic.twitter.com/73uEtIJ6OD
— NBA History (@NBAHistory) October 5, 2020
Besting James in every category in Game 3 — rebounds, assists, and scoring — Butler accounted for 73 of the Heat’s 115 points, per Elias Sports Bureau. He is now tied for the second-most in an NBA Finals game in league history, trailing only Walt Frazier (74).
The Heat, once down 2-0, played with a level of desperation their opponent could not match.
Here are three things to look for in Game 4.
Butler shot 14-for-20 (70%) and 12-for-14 (85.7%) from the line and also contributed two blocks and two steals in Sunday night’s game. All of this was done without attempting a three.
His performance earned praise across the league as well as recognition from James.
Since Game 3, Butler has brushed off the plaudits. Postgame after the Heat’s Sunday victory, he told the press that the team is all about winning.
Though Miami faces an uphill climb with their nearly depleted roster, the team has confidence in Butler’s abilities. They’ll need Butler to take further advantage of mismatches in transition and bully his way into the lane against Danny Green and Kyle Kuzma.
The Bron-Brow duo.
Butler might have been the better performer in Game 3, but James and Anthony Davis are still the better players of the series.
The Lakers will have to find a way to split the Heat’s zone defense and get back into the paint for points. James has since said that he, and his team, have to do better.
The return of Bam Adebayo?
Adebayo, who was out the past two games after injuring his neck in Game 1, was originally day-to-day. He has since upgraded from doubtful, to questionable and now plans to play, per Adrian Wojnarowski.
Miami Heat All-Star Bam Adebayo is planning to return for Game 4 vs. the Lakers tonight, sources tell ESPN. Lakers lead series, 2-1.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 6, 2020
The return of Adebayo could mean many things for this Heat team, and another loss is not projected to be one of them.
The Heat All-Star forward has taken on a significant role for Miami throughout the playoffs. His return could make it that much harder for the Lakers to capture another victory in the wake of their Game 3 loss.
Both teams are set to tip-off from the AdventHealth Arena on Tuesday (9 p.m. ET, ABC).