The Miami Heat aren't done yet.
Despite missing Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic for Game 3, the Heat put in a gritty performance against the Los Angeles Lakers to bring the series to 2-1.
Jimmy Butler delivered a historic game, recording a 40-point triple-double to lead his team to a 115-104 win, proving they've got plenty left in the tank.
MORE: Butler dominates as Heat stun Lakers in Game 3
"I think we realised that we belong," Butler said post-game. "They can be beat, as long as we do what we're supposed to do."
Butler, who finished with 40 points, 13 assists, and 11 rebounds, became the third player in NBA history to record a 40-point triple-double in an NBA Finals game, joining LeBron James (Game 5, 2015) and Jerry West (Game 7,1969) and joined James, Dwyane Wade, and Shaquille O'Neal as the only Heat players to post 30/5/5 in a playoff game, per NBA Stats.
Per Marc Spears, Butler also became the first player to ever outscore, outrebound, and out-assist LeBron James in a Finals game.
"I thought Jimmy was phenomenal," James told reporters post-game. "He did everything that they needed for him to do tonight."
"One of the best competitors we have in our game." - LeBron James on Jimmy Butler after Game 3- NBA (@NBA) October 5, 2020
Game 4: Tuesday - 9pm/et, ABC pic.twitter.com/HGF8wtpSJA
Butler led by example in Game 3, relentlessly driving into the teeth of the Lakers defence as he made tough shot after tough shot and his aggressiveness was rewarded at the free throw line as he buried 12 of his 14 attempts at the line.
His contributions were across the board as he scored or assisted on 73 of Miami's 115 points, but he was only concerned with one stat. The win.
"I don't care about a triple-double, I don't care about none of that, I really don't," Butler said. "I want to win. We did that. I'm happy with the outcome."
According to @EliasSports Jimmy Butler scored or assisted on 73 points, tied for the 2nd-most in an NBA Finals game in league history. (Walt Frazier, 74)- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 5, 2020
Butler is the first player with a 40-point Finals game without attempting a three since Shaquille O'Neal in 2002. pic.twitter.com/mPcQpFrOtU
With the Heat severely undermanned and coming off two losses, Butler left nothing to chance, playing 44:51 minutes in Game 3, earning plenty of praise from Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.
BY THE NUMBERS: Butler joins elite company with historic Game 3
"How else do you say it but Jimmy f---ing Butler?" Erik Spoelstra said. "This is what he wanted. This is what we wanted. It's really hard to analyse or describe Jimmy until you actually feel him between the four lines. He's a supreme competitor, and we need it."
The Heat will need another superhuman performance from butler in Game 4 as they look to level the series at 2-2. Game 4 is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 6:30 a.m. IST.
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