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NBA Finals 2020

NBA Finals 2020: Jimmy Butler's historic performance leads Miami Heat to stunning Game 3 win over Los Angeles Lakers

The Miami Heat aren't done yet.

Led by an all-time great Finals performance from Jimmy Butler, Miami kept its title hopes alive with a 115-104 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 3 of the NBA Finals to make it a 2-1 series.

For more on how it all went down, here are some thoughts from the Heat's inspred win.

1. There is no quit in this Heat team

A few hours before tip, it was confirmed that both Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic would be unavailable for a second straight game.

Down two key starters, it would be easy to count this Miami team out … until you remember what this team is made of.

With enormous chips on their shoulders, the Heat scrap, claw and fight, meaning they always have a chance to win. Game 3 was no different.

It might not be pretty at times, but they go as Jimmy Butler leads, speaking of…

2. We saw an all-time performance from Jimmy Butler

The commonly-used saying typically goes "does a little bit of everything" but that wouldn't do Jimmy Butler's performance enough justice.

He did a lot of everything.

Everything.

Without Adebayo and Dragic, Butler knew he had to raise his play in order for Miami to have a chance. In the first half alone, he registered 19 points, six rebounds, six assists and two steals.

After flirting with a triple-double in Game 2, Butler made it happen in Game 3, finishing with 40 points (on 14-for-20 shooting), 13 assists, 11 rebounds, two blocks and two steals to lead this team to victory.

For perspective, there have only been three players in NBA history to record a 40-point triple double in the Finals, as Butler joins LeBron James and Jerry West.

Butler is the first to do it in a win.

3. A sloppy showing from LA

In Game 2, the Lakers committed just nine turnovers for the game.

Game 3 saw Los Angeles eclipse that mark in the first quarter, committing 10 turnovers in the opening frame and 14 by halftime.

That's … far from ideal.

Errant passes, offensive fouls and travels all contributed to Los Angeles finishing the game with 19 turnovers, eight of which were committed by LeBron James, who committed none in Game 2. Yet another stark contrast.

4. Foul trouble limits AD

After dominating in Games 1 and 2, Anthony Davis had trouble staying on the court in the first half of Game 3, picking up his third foul early on in the second quarter.

And it's nearly impossible to dominate from the bench.

Davis shot an efficient 6-for-9 from the field but finished with just 15 points and could never get in enough of a rhythm to make his presence truly felt in order to swing the outcome of the game. His value was very evident in this one.

5. LeBron shines in spurts

We saw the Lakers come back from a deficit in Game 1.

In Game 3, as they faced a similar deficit, it appeared that it would be LeBron that engineering the comeback with Anthony Davis limited due to foul trouble.

And at times, he did.

A few and-one finishes and strong plays where LeBron imposed his will kept the Lakers within striking distance and allowed them to get back in command but it wasn't enough.

While he finished with eight turnovers, James also finished with a team-high 25 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, moving up in the record books in the process.

It wasn't the best LeBron James game we've ever seen but per usual, he had his moments of dominance.

6. Olynyk steps up once again

When key players are out, someone's gotta step up.

After scoring 24 points in Game 2, Olynyk again rose to the challenge, scoring 17 points (on 5-for-9 shooting) and pulling down seven boards in 31 minutes of action. Olynyk finished with 17 of Miami's 24 bench points.

That's major.

7. A moment for Markieff Morris

As our Kyle Irving outlined ahead of Game 3, the Lakers role players deserve a little more credit.

Tonight was Markieff Morris' time to shine.

The nine-year vet made his presence felt in 25 minutes, sinking five triples to finish with 19 points.

8. What's next?

Game 4. The Heat will look to tie things up as the two teams are back in action on Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 6:30 a.m. IST.

Catch you then.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.

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