Jimmy Butler proved his toughness once again, leading the Heat to beat the Lakers again almost by himself with Dragic still not back and Adebayor not finding his form, bringing the big score to 2-3 and postponing the ready championship presentation. How strong is Butler? The first time in his career to participate in the finals, he has a data with LeBron James tied for the first in NBA history!
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Although Butler led the Heat to beat the Lakers in G3 of the finals, the Heat still defeated the Lakers in G4 despite the comeback of Adebayor to make many people think the series will end in G5, especially in the case of Dragic still not ready to come back, many people even before the start of G5 have begun to long for LeBron James’ championship speech. But, once again, Butler came out and said no.
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On a night when James scored 40 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists on 71.4% shooting, Davis also scored 28 points and 12 rebounds on 60% shooting, and even Pop scored 16 points, Dragic was not back and Adebayor only scored 13 points and 4 rebounds in 38 minutes of playing time, but it was the Heat who had the last laugh. This is certainly related to the excellent performance of the Heat’s shooting group led by Duncan Robinson, but in this game the Heat still had no advantage in front of the Lakers in terms of three-point shooting, and the Heat beat the Lakers again for only one reason, and that was Butler.
A lot of people were marveling at James’ efficient and comprehensive performance in this game, but Butler’s performance was also very good. In such a high-intensity battle of survival, Butler only rested for a total of 48 seconds, hit 11 out of 19 shots, shooting 57.9%, such offensive efficiency for a core guard is already very high, and he also got the highest 12 free throw opportunities and hit all of them, got 35 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists, 5 steals and a cap of Triple-double stats, only 3 turnovers and 2 fouls, assists and steals were the highest in the game.
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This is not Butler’s first 35+ triple-double in this finals, he got 40 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists on 70% shooting in the finals G3, becoming the first player in the history of the Heat to get 35+ triple-doubles in a single game in the finals, achieving a feat that was not achieved by LeBron James who reigned as the Finals MVP in the Heat. Now, Butler has got 35+ triple-double for the second time in this series, the only player to have gotten a triple-double in this finals so far.
How hard is it to get a 35+ triple-double in a single game in the Finals? In the long history of the NBA before this season only a total of four times to accomplish such a feat, the first is the 1969 finals in the seventh game Jerry West got 42 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists, the second by James Worthy in the 1988 finals in the seventh game, the other two belong to LeBron James, in 2015 in the G2 and G5 are picked up such numbers. In other words, today’s Butler is already tied with James for first place in NBA history in terms of 35+ triple-doubles in the Finals! This is only Butler’s first trip to the Finals!
These numbers show how tough Butler is when he is “alone”. At that time, Butler’s task was not over yet, his Heat was still down 2-3, in G6 the Heat still faced a huge pressure of “renew or go home”, but two wins should give the Heat’s young players some confidence, Davis’s injury is also a huge advantage for the Heat, Butler can lead the Heat to repeat the story of 2016. Can Butler lead the Heat to repeat the 2016 Cavaliers’ story?