The Miami Heat, as banged up as they are, didn’t want to use injuries an excuse for their losses, and they certainly came into Game 3 looking for a battle.
They led for much of the game thanks to a strong effort from Jimmy Butler, who was all over the stat sheet with 40 points, 11 Rebounds, and 13 assists. It was his first career triple-double in the NBA playoffs, and what a time it was to perform like that.
Miami built double-digit leads multiple times in the game, and were up as much as 14 in the third quarter. However, the Los Angeles Lakers have shown throughout the entire playoffs that they don’t wilt under pressure.
The fourth quarter started 85-80 in the Heat’s Favor, but the Lakers had taken a 91-89 lead with 8:54 left in the game. The Heat fought back to take a 94-91 lead with 8:01 left in the game. Tyler Herro pushed that to 97-91 with 7:03 left.
A couple of buckets were traded over the next couple of minutes, but Miami still held a 101-95 lead with 4:40 to go. Markieff Morris made it 105-100 after a three, setting up a tense final two minutes of the game.
Butler would not be denied, though, as he scored four straight points to push the Heat’s lead to 109-100 with 1:12 on the clock.
Duncan Robinson struggled again from deep for the hole game, but made a huge one with 32.2 seconds left to push the lead to double digits. The game ended 115-104.
Butler got a lot of help on the scoring end from his other teammates, as five other Heat players scored in double figures.
Anthony Davis finally came back down to earth in Game 3, he finished the game with 15 points, five rebounds, and three assists. LeBron James flirted with another triple-double with 25 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists.
Points in the paint were certainly in the Heat’s favor, as they outscored the Lakers 52-34 in that area.