NBA Finals: Jimmy Butler powers Miami Heat to win in Game 5

Jimmy Butler ran riot with a 35-point triple-double as Miami Heat closed down on Los Angeles Lakers' advantage in the NBA Finals to 3-2.

Jimmy Butler, who bagged 12 rebounds and11 assists in Game Five, was 12-12 from the free throw line.   -  Getty Images

Jimmy Butler scored a 35-point triple-double as Miami Heat defeated Los Angeles Lakers 111-108 on Friday to stave off elimination and force an NBA Finals Game Six on Sunday.

With their backs against the wall, Miami players refused to give up, surviving a 40-point onslaught from the Lakers LeBron James thanks to outstanding three-point shooting, clutch free throws and the all-round brilliance of Butler.

The Lakers, who trailed for most of the game, had a chance to win it in the final seconds, but Danny Green's wide open three-point shot came up short. Lakers' Markieff Morris got the rebound but threw the ball out of bounds while trying to pass it to Anthony Davis.

Rookie Tyler Herro was fouled on the ensuing inbound pass and coolly sank two free throws to extend the Heat lead to three points and the Lakers were unable to get off a good shot as time expired to cap the thrilling contest.


Butler, who had 12 rebounds, 11 assists and was 12-12 from the free throw line, said the win was a gritty team effort.

“We just played hard, got to where we wanted to on offense, shared the ball like we always do, and just kept with it,” he said.

“It's a game of runs and we withstood theirs.”

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Still, he said he was not pleased with how the Heat closed the game out.

“It was a little bit of luck that Danny Green missed that shot at the top of the key,” he said.

“Now we go back to the hotel to get better because the way we ended this game is not going to get it done in the next one.”


Sharpshooting guard Duncan Robinson also contributed to the win, hitting seven three pointers en route to a 26-point performance.

“Duncan is Duncan. Those are the games we expect him to have,” Butler said.

“He's the reason we're going to win the next one.”

Lakers, whose lead is now 3-2 in the best-of-seven series, saw forward Anthony Davis re-aggravate a right heel injury late in the first quarter.

Davis returned after sitting out for several minutes, but struggled to find a rhythm and was seen hobbling up the floor in the fourth quarter.

The Heat are hoping to spoil Lakers' attempt to win a record-tying 17th title in Orlando, where the NBA resumed its season in a biosecure bubble in July after a four-month hiatus over the COVID-19

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