Miami Heat 111-108 Los Angeles Lakers
It wasn’t pretty, but the Miami Heat are alive and kicking as they staved off elimination against the Los Angeles Lakers last Friday night.
Prior to this game, many pundits and fans have already crowned the Lakers as the NBA champions even before Game 5 started. And it seemed to be a plausible bet since they were heavily backed by the NBA 2020 odds.
But Erik Spoelstra and his crew rained on the Lakers’ parade as several players played the game of their lives and at least one more game is to be played on Sunday night.
Jimmy Butler continues to dazzle in the biggest stage with another Finals triple-double with 35 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists – plus some NBA 2020 highlights.
He got significant help from his teammates as Duncan Robinson poured in 26 points, while Kendrick Nunn, Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, and Jae Crowder all scored in double digits as well.
LeBron James led all scorers with 40 points and added 13 rebounds and seven assists, while Anthony Davis had 28 points and 12 rebounds and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 16 in the losing effort.
SBOTOP takes a look at how the Miami Heat saved their season for now.
Highlights of the game
With their backs against the wall, the Heat decided to lean on to their superstar in Jimmy Butler all game.
The veteran swingman went toe-to-toe with LeBron James as both of them stuffed the stat sheet in what was a back-and-forth first half.
Butler scored 22 of his 35 points while adding six rebounds, six assists, and three steals in the first half. And he was 7-for-7 at the charity stripe too.
On the other hand, LeBron James poured in 21 of his 40 points, and added four rebounds, three assists, and one steal along with an efficient 9-for-11 shooting from the field.
Miami held a 60-56 margin come halftime and they even outrebounded the Lakers.
The Heat threatened to pull away when they were still leading in the third period.
Midway through the quarter, Jimmy Butler scored while drawing a flagrant-1 foul from Dwight Howard for an and-1. And then Duncan Robinson made a three-pointer in the ensuing possession to put them up by six points.
Jae Crowder scored a four-point play with 3:01 left to prevent the Lakers to come close, and Duncan Robinson continued his hot-shooting night with a four-point play in the final minute of the said quarter.
The Heat were up by 11 points with 10:17 left, but the Lakers simply wouldn’t go away.
LeBron James sparked a 17-3 run for the Lakers in the next five minutes, which was started when he made his sixth three-pointer of the night.
Eventually Los Angeles regained the lead when Kentavious Caldwell-Pope knocked down a corner three to put them up 97-96, and then it was Miami’s turn to answer back.
With 3:13 left, Duncan Robinson put the Heat up two, and that started a back-and-forth affair between the two teams.
With less than a minute to go, Jimmy Butler was fouled with 46.7 seconds left and looked visibly exhausted, but he proceeded to sink the two free throws for a one-point lead. Anthony Davis replied with a putback with 21.8 seconds left to put the Lakers back on top.
In the ensuing possession, Jimmy Butler drew another foul and made two free throws and the pressure was on for the Lakers.
LeBron James drove hard to the lane and drew two defenders, and then he found a wide open Danny Green who missed short on his outside shot.
The Lakers got the offensive rebound, but Marcus Morris miscalculated his pass to Anthony Davis and turned the ball over.
Tyler Herro knocked down two more free throws and the Heat went on to win their second game in this Finals.
Jimmy Butler became the sixth player in league history to have multiple triple-double outings in the same Finals series. He is in great company alongside Magic Johnson, LeBron James, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, and Draymond Green.
Jimmy Butler played a whopping 47 minutes in Game 5. He has been playing at the north of 40 minutes over the last few games.
Erik Spoelstra moved up to seventh in the all-time NBA Finals wins list with 13.
The Lakers were previously undefeated wearing the famed Black Mamba jerseys. They’re 4-1 now.
Los Angeles still lead the series at 3-2, and they have a chance to cap off the wild 2020 season with a championship come Sunday. If ever there will be a Game 7, it will be on Tuesday night.
The job is still not finished for the Lakers.
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