Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat have kept their NBA title hopes alive after taking down the Los Angeles Lakers in an all-time classic Game Five on Saturday.
In a must-win game, Butler left absolutely everything he had out on the court as he outdueled LeBron James to secure the 111-108 victory.
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Butler recorded a triple-double with 35 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists to move the series to 3-2.
James gave it his all and finished the contest with 40 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists, but in the final possession the Lakers threw the ball away as the Heat held on.
The nailbiting finish had fans across the world right on the edge of their seats with the Lakers’ Danny Green missing a three that would have handed the Lakers a two-point lead with around 6 seconds to play.
Markieff Morris nabbed the rebound for the Lakers, but threw the ball over the head of Anthony Davis and handed the ball back to the Heat.
JIMMY (35 PTS, 12 REB & 11 AST) BALLED OUT. 🔥
Miami forces Game 6! #NBAFinals pic.twitter.com/RsWm7Jh8v3
Butler’s heroics see him join an exclusive club of players to record mutiple triple-doubles in a Finals series, joining Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Draymond Green and James.
“His will to win is remarkable. … He’s the definition of a two-way player,” Erik Spoelstra said after the game.
“Every young player coming into this league should study footage of Jimmy Butler.”
Jimmy Butler is Special….
“Jimmy Butler was amazing,” Nick Wright wrote.
“What a game. Give Jimmy Butler all of his flowers,” The Athletic’s Tony Jones wrote.
The Heat held the upper hand throughout the contest as they led at the end of every quarter before the Lakers surged in the fourth quarter.
Taking their first lead since the early going, James and the Lakers looked on their way to celebrating an NBA Title as the confetti cannons were sighted courtside.
But Butler and the Heat had other ideas as they bounced back to win their second game of the series.
Duncan Robinson played the role of Robin to Butler’s Batman on Saturday with the Heat forward ending the game with 26 points after knocking down seven shots from beyond the arc. Butler was quick to praise the efforts of his teammate after the win.
"He's going to be the reason that we win the next one."
—Jimmy Butler on the importance of Duncan Robinson pic.twitter.com/rXquHsbwry
Game Six will be played on Monday, October 12 at 10:30am (AEDT).
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