Jimmy Butler's masterpiece: Heat defeat Lakers in game 3 of Finals

Logan Lockhart
BarnBurner Sports Writer


Sunday, October 4, 2020

Jimmy Butler scored 40 points and recorded a triple-double, leading the Miami Heat to a 115-104 win against the Los Angeles Lakers in game three of NBA Finals on Sunday night. 


The win is the Heat’s first in the 2020 edition of the Finals, as they now trail 2-1 in the best-of-seven series for the Larry O’Brien trophy.


Without Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo for the second consecutive game, Butler played like the best player on the court, and led Miami with his best performance of the playoffs. 


The native of Houston, Texas added 13 assists and 11 rebounds along with his 40 points, finishing off one of the great Finals performances in recent history by any player.


Butler is just the third player in NBA Finals history to record a 40-point triple-double.


Much like the early goings in game one, the Heat were able to limit the Lakers offensively and capitalize themselves when on offense. 


Miami possessed a 13 point lead in the first quarter of game one, and had the same advantage in the opening frame of game three--the end result however, was different from games one and two--a Heat win. 


The resiliency of the 2019-2020 Miami Heat has been evident throughout the entire postseason, and was seen again in the opening quarter on Sunday night.


Fortunately for the Heat, that same resiliency carried over the next three quarters of the game, something not seen in the first two games of the series.


The Lakers, led by LeBron James, faced a different looking team in the second quarter--a cold-shooting Heat squad.


James finished the game with 25 points.


After starting the game 7-8 from the field, Miami only scored five times on its next 22 attempts. 


But the Heat managed to turn the corner shooting wise in the final minutes of the first half.


Butler scored 19 points in the first two quarters, as the Heat took a four point lead into the half. 


Los Angeles was unable to outscore James’ former team in the second quarter despite Miami’s shooting woes early in the second quarter. 


The second half started with a Miami 10-0 run, possessing its first lead in the second half of the series and positioning themselves to win their first game of the series. 


And they did--with many pundits, journalists and fans alike declaring a Lakers sweep is on the horizon, Butler reminded the basketball world on Sunday night why the Heat are in the Finals to begin with.


Game four of the series goes Tuesday night at 9:00 PM EST, as the Lakers will look to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the Finals, and prevent Miami from tying it.