Advertisement

NBA Finals: Jimmy Butler powers Heat to Game 3 win over Lakers

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (L) and teammate Jae Crowder celebrate in the first quarter of Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Sunday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla. Photo by Erik S. Lesser/EPA-EFE
Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (L) and teammate Jae Crowder celebrate in the first quarter of Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Sunday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla. Photo by Erik S. Lesser/EPA-EFE

Oct. 4 (UPI) -- Despite missing injured starters Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic, the Miami Heat beat the Los Angeles Lakers 115-104 on Sunday night behind Jimmy Butler's historic triple-double.

Butler finished with 40 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists in the Game 3 win to cut the Heat's deficit in the championship series to 2-1. It was the third 40-point triple-double in NBA Finals history.

Advertisement

"I don't care about triple-doubles," said Butler, who was 14 for 20 from the field. "I don't care about none of that. I really don't. I want to win. We did that, [and] I'm happy with the outcome. ... I think we realized that we belong."

Tyler Herro and Kelly Olynyk each scored 17 points for the Heat, who squandered multiple double-digit leads throughout the game. Duncan Robinson had 13 points and Jae Crowder added 12 for Miami.

RELATED NBA Finals: Miami Heat's Bam Adebayo, Goran Dragic ruled out for Game 3

The Heat grabbed a 13-point advantage in the first quarter before the Lakers battled back and took the lead early in the second frame. Miami also had a 14-point lead after a 10-0 run to start the second half, but Los Angeles again fought back with eight straight points.

Advertisement

Late in the third, the Heat found themselves with a 12-point lead and appeared to be in control. The Lakers put together a 20-6 run over about five minutes to grab a 91-89 lead with 8:55 remaining in the fourth.

But the Heat reclaimed the lead and didn't look back as Butler refused to let the Heat fall into a likely insurmountable 3-0 hole. The only other time the Heat were down 2-0 in a Finals series was 2006, when Dwyane Wade led Miami all the way back.

RELATED NBA Finals: LeBron, Los Angeles Lakers beat Miami Heat for 2-0 series lead

LeBron James led the Lakers with 25 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and two blocks. All-Star big man Anthony Davis, who was in early foul trouble, finished with 15 points and five rebounds in 33 minutes.

Markieff Morris and Kyle Kuzma each had 19 points off the bench for the Lakers, who had a season-high 10 turnovers in the first quarter.

Game 4 of the best-of-seven series is set for Tuesday night.

RELATED Lakers crush banged-up Heat in Game 1 of NBA Finals

Latest Headlines