The Heat might be down, but they’re not out.
Here are the key takeaways from Sunday’s Game 3:
1. ‘Buckets’ is back
By no means was Miami Heat superstar Jimmy Butler struggling in Games 1 and 2 of the NBA Finals, averaging 24.0 points on 51.4 percent shooting, to go along with 9.0 assists and 5.0 rebounds.
But in Game 3, Butler was different – Butler turned into ‘Jimmy Buckets.’
Butler torched the Lakers to the tune of 40 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds. He connected on 14-of-20 shot attempts, 12-of-14 free throws, and added in 2 blocks and 2 steals.
‘Buckets’ joined Jerry West and LeBron James as the only players in NBA history to record a 40-point triple-double in the NBA Finals.
2. AD’s off-night
While Butler was on fire, one Lakers superstar was not – but mainly because he didn’t shoot enough to catch fire.
Davis shot 67 percent from the field, but was only 6-for-9 from the field, finishing the night with 15 points and 5 rebounds.
He did not score in the fourth quarter, going 0-for-1 from the field, and his Sunday performance was a far cry from the 33.0 points and 11.5 rebounds he averaged in Games 1 and 2.
Davis and LeBron James combined to score 40 points, grab 15 rebounds and dish out 11 assists – numbers that Butler essentially matched by his lonesome.
3. Miami is back in this thing…
…at least according to Butler.
Butler is clearly not afraid of the big moments, and it appeared on Sunday night that he was simply refusing to let Miami lose, even without starting point guard Goran Dragic and All-Star forward Bam Adebayo.
And not only was he dropping 40 on LeBron and the Lakers, he was having fun while doing it.
The last team to come back and win the NBA Finals after trailing 2-1 was the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers, who trailed the Golden State Warriors 3-1 before pulling off a miraculous comeback.
The year prior, the Warriors came back from down 2-1 to the Cavs to win the 2015 NBA Finals, and in 2013, LeBron’s Miami Heat came back from a 2-1 deficit to defeat the San Antonio Spurs in the Finals.
Game 4 is set for Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET.
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