The 2020 season Heat defeated the Lakers 115-104 to win Game 3 of the finals. The number one contributor to the Heat’s win was undoubtedly Jimmy Butler, who scored 40 points and 11 rebounds plus 13 assists. Butler not only led the team to win the game, but also set a number of records.
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First of all, it was the first time in his career that he had a triple-double in the playoffs. The only players who have scored 40 points plus a triple-double in a single game on the Finals stage were Jerry West and LeBron James. It is worth mentioning that Butler is the first player in NBA history to score 40 points plus a triple-double on the Finals stage and lead his team to win the final game.
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In addition, Butler was able to contribute 29.3 points, 7 rebounds and 10.3 assists per game after his first three career Finals games, shooting 58% from the field, 40% from three and 90.3% from the free throw line. In NBA history, Butler is only the second player to be able to put up such numbers in his first three career Finals games, the other being Michael Jordan.
Not only that, Butler also became the second player in Heat history to record a triple-double in the Finals, the first being James (4). He is also the first player in nearly 51 years to score at least 40 points and 12 assists in a single game in the Finals, the last being West on May 6, 1969.
Meanwhile, Butler became the third player in Finals history to slash 40+ on 70%+ shooting, with the first two being Chamberlain (May 7, 1970) and Irving (June 14, 2016). It is worth mentioning that Butler also became the first player in Finals history to slash 40+ triple-doubles on 70% shooting.
The game, Butler’s own points and assists to teammates combined to 73 points, this data can also be in the NBA Finals history of the second place. In the matchup with LeBron, Butler didn’t fall short either. Butler even finished the finals single game scoring, rebounding, and assists for James in the three data, completed the full surroundings. In LeBron’s career, this is the first time he encountered such a situation in the finals.
So after the game, the emperor also said when evaluating Butler’s performance: “I like playing against him, he is one of the most competitive players in basketball. I don’t know how many more chances I’ll have against such a strong competitor.”
Butler then responded to James by saying, “I feel like he’s made me give it my all too many times.”