Former Chicago Bulls: Jimmy Butler goes nuclear to keep Heat alive in NBA Finals

Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Former Chicago Bulls star wing Jimmy Butler put his absolute best foot forward to get the Miami Heat their first Finals win over the Lakers on Oct. 4.

The journey of the former Chicago Bulls star shooting guard/small forward Jimmy Butler with the five-seed Miami Heat up to this point of the playoffs was pretty wild. “Jimmy G. Buckets” and the Heat were the surprise team of the Eastern Conference side of the playoff bracket heading into the NBA Finals. They lost only three games in their first three series of the playoffs in total.

In the first round of the playoffs, Butler and the Heat swept through the four-seed Indiana Pacers in convincing fashion. The play of the Heat got even more impressive in the second round, as they pulled off the massive upset of the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks and back-to-back NBA MVP forward Giannis Antetokounmpo in the second round in just a five-game series.

But the Heat didn’t stop there as they rolled through the three-seed Boston Celtics in a six-game series in the Eastern Conference Finals to get the right to face LeBron James and the top-seeded (out of the Western Conference) Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. While the Celtics did push that East Finals series with the Heat to six games, it wasn’t all that close.

Butler and the Heat ran into their toughest test yet by far in the first three games of the NBA Finals against the Lakers. LeBron and fellow superstar Anthony Davis gave the Heat all they could handle in the first two games of the series, winning by a commanding double-digit margin in each contest.

That, along with a multiple of bruises and injuries to he and his teammates, didn’t stop Butler from putting together a massive performance in Game 3. Butler amassed his first triple-double of the Finals series thus far, registering 40 points, 13 assists, 11 rebounds, two steals, and two blocks. He was a very efficient 14-of-20 shooting from the field and 12-of-14 from the free-throw line. Butler was also a +20 on the floor for the Heat in Game 3.

This was the second straight game that Butler registered 13 assists too. He has now registered 65 points, 26 assists, 19 rebounds, three steals, and two blocks, in the last two games in the NBA Finals combined. It just so happened that a few of his teammates also found their rhythm and the Lakers weren’t looking as good on Oct. 4 to get the Heat their first win of this Finals series so far.

Butler is truly the leader that the Heat needed that broke through in Game 3 and saved their chances in this NBA Finals series against the star studded Lakers. Game 4 between the Heat and Lakers takes place on Oct. 6 at the bubble in Disney World at 8 p.m. CT.

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The Heat took this win over the Lakers by the final score of 115-104. That amazing 40 point outing from Butler in his first career triple-double in the playoffs was exactly what the Heat needed as they look to comeback from down two games against the Lakers.