The Miami Heat live to fight another day, by winning Game 5 of the NBA Finals 111-108, thanks largely to Jimmy Butler and his superhuman performance.
Butler, who only sat for 49 seconds the entire game, finished with 35 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists, and five steals. Still, in the postgame interview with ESPN's Rachel Nichols, he was already citing a teammate (Duncan Robinson) as the reason why the Heat would win Game 6.
"We just played hard... shared the ball like we always do, and kept with it."@JimmyButler after putting up 35 PTS, 12 REB, 11 AST in the @MiamiHEAT Game 5 win! #NBAFinals- NBA (@NBA) October 10, 2020
Game 6: Sunday at 7:30pm/et on ABC pic.twitter.com/P9ZApg0eOS
Among the five other Heat players that scored in double figures, Duncan Robinson top-scored with 26 points - 21 of which came from beyond the arc. The 26 points are a playoff career-high and the seven 3-pointers are tied for the most he's knocked down in the postseason.
The seven 3-pointers are also a playoff franchise record. He's done it twice while all other players in franchise history have also combined to do it twice. His 3-point shooting in Game 5 not only broke franchise records but also set new NBA records.
Duncan Robinson made 7 threes tonight, setting a new record for 3PM by an undrafted player in an NBA Finals game. Previous was 6 3PM by Gary Neal in 2013. pic.twitter.com/8ciDaaYpt3- NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) October 10, 2020
In fact, only Stephen Curry and Ray Allen have knocked down more 3-pointers than Robinson in a single Finals game. Now, that's elite company but, it comes as no surprise to his teammates.
"Every time he shoots, we feel like it's going in," said rookie Heat guard Tyler Herro. That's not all. The Heat want Robinson to continue shooting as many 3-pointers as he can get up instead of falling into two minds of getting others involved.
"We keep forcing him to shoot it and sometimes he gets caught in an awkward situation, do I pass or shoot, and we always tell him shoot first and then pass later," Bam Adebayo said postgame referring to Robinson's struggles from earlier in the series.
It took a while but Game 5 seemed to have been the culmination of Robinson steadily finding his rhythm, flow, and stroke in this series. He's gone from zero points in the blowout Game 1 loss, to nine in Game 2, 13 in Game 3, then 17 in Game 4, and he is certainly capable of catching fire once again in Game 6.
"It was similar looks," Robinson said postgame regarding the 3-point shots he got earlier in the series."I thought I was a little more persistent tonight getting to the ball and getting to my spots. That helped. And it helps to see some fall in. That helped build confidence more."
"I just tried to be aggressive."- FOX Sports Sun: HEAT (@FOXSportsHEAT) October 10, 2020
Hear from Duncan Robinson on his 26-point night and the Game 5 win. #HEATTwitter pic.twitter.com/Pb13m3cHJt
In his postgame conference with the media, Butler gave a more detailed response about the value of Miami's sharpshooter.
"So as long as he's coming to the ball, shooting the ball when he's open, when he's not open, that's the Duncan Robinson that we need, that we want, because that's how he's been playing all year long. And we're going to need him to be even more aggressive for Game 6."
Despite the win, the Heat are still facing elimination in Game 6, scheduled for Monday, October 12th at 5:00 a.m. IST.
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